1, 2, 3, 4 … count your beans, then count some more

  • May 24
    Laura Johnston
    1, 2, 3, 4 … count your beans, then count some more By Laura Johnston on May 24, 2013
    Categories: Soybean, Tips

    Assessing your crop stand after emergence is an important routine to get into. Take a few moments to scout your field and determine your plant populations. Early identification of any problems from planting, insect pests and diseases will ensure you have enough time to take action if necessary.

    When taking populations in soybeans, there are a few different methods you can use. Depending on your row width, you will want to choose the most accurate technique. For wide row widths (30” or more), using the 1/1000th of an acre system is your best bet. For narrow rows or solid seeded soybeans, the hoop method is a faster alternative. Make sure you only count plants that are going to survive. You can use the tables below to calculate your plants per acre based on either stand assessment technique. Ensure you do a count every ten acres with a minimum of three populations per field.

    If you are thinking about replanting - think twice. Soybeans can compensate for a thin stand very well. A 60% stand has 100% yield potential and a 40% stand has 87% yield potential (Publication 811). A 50% stand does not need replanting. Poor stands are not usually uniform across a field, so be sure to treat each area separately. Before making a final decision, consider the following factors: replant date, cost of replanting, time, labour, soil moisture, weather forecast, uniformity and yield potential of the current stand. In most cases, keeping a current stand is more profitable than replanting.

    If you do find yourself in a replant/delayed planting situation (after June 15th), you may want to reduce your heat units by 100-200 CHU and plant a tall variety in narrow rows to increase vegetative growth. Increasing you seeding rates by 10% can also help increase your pod height and count. Planting soybeans after July 1st is not usually successful in Ontario. A one-month planting delay only postpones maturity by around 9 days (Publication 811).

    Laura Johnston, CCA-ON, Maizex Seeds Yield Specialist, West Elgin County