Tune In for Top Tips: Soybean planting depth

Listen to this week’s Tune In for Top Tips on KTIC Radio:

This is Dr. Nathan Mueller, your local agronomist with Nebraska Extension for Dodge and Washington counties. Last time our Tune In for Top Tips was to know when, where, and why to inoculate soybeans. This week’s Tune In for Top Tips is to plant soybeans a short 2 inches deep.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln research done in 2011, 2012, and 2013 in Clay, Lancaster, and Saunders counties suggest that a planting depth 1.75 inches or a short 2 inches was the optimal planting depth.  During these years and locations, there was definitely a range in spring weather conditions and tillage systems. There was also 6 seeding rates tested within each of the 6 planting depths. At seeding rates below 105,000, planting shallower than 1.5 inches or deeper than 2.25 inches did significantly reduce yields.

This is the last series in the Tune In for Top Tips.  Let’s recap the series quickly that started back in late February.

  • Turn down your soybean seeding rate, not your radio. Plant 120,000 to 140,000 seeds per acre, or the Bag-An-Acre Challenge to get the recommended final stand of 100,000 plants per acre.
  • Diversify soybean relative maturities and diminish risk. Northeast Nebraska data from FIRST trials averaged across approximate 58 different varieties per year evaluated at four locations per year and over a 5 year period from 2012 to 2016, reveals that we can maintain top yields and diminish risk against the short-term weather patterns by planting top performing varieties ranging from a 2.6 to a 3.4 relative maturity.
  • Know when, where, and why to inoculate soybeans. If you have managed soil pH well, planted soybeans recently, have medium to heavy textured soils, and have not experienced extended droughts or floods, direct your money away from inoculating soybeans and move it to other management options that have an improved chance of return.
  • Lastly, plant your soybeans 1.75 inches deep or a short 2 inches deep this spring.

Thanks for listen to this past month’s Tune In for Top Tips on soybean production practices for northeast Nebraska. To listen to this radio message again and to get more information, visit our local website at croptechcafe.org or give me a call at 727-2775. Know your crop, know your tech, know your bottom line. This is Dr. Nathan Mueller, your local agronomist for Nebraska Extension on KTIC radio.

Tune In for Top Tips: Soybean planting depth
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