Timely Harvest Is Key To Keeping Yield Advantage Of Early Planted Soybeans


   To take advantage of greater yield potential, many farmers planted soybeans earlier than the typical planting date this spring. It pays to keep tabs on soybean health prior to harvest to preserve the potential of the early planted soybeans and ensure as many bushels as possible end up in the bin.
   Now’s the time to evaluate the status of those early planted soybean fields to determine the optimum harvest window. The tendency for pods to shatter increases as soybean pods and stems become stressed with diseases, insects and dry weather. 

   As soybean plants reach full seed (R6 growth stage), flowering ceases, pods have developed and seeds are filling pods throughout the plant.     Favorable growing conditions during seed fill will not increase the number of seeds in advanced pods; however, stressful growing conditions can affect seed development and seed quality and reduce the number of seeds per pod. 
   As seeds and pods begin to mature at the R7 growth stage, stress has little effect on yield potential. The moisture of soybeans plays a factor in timely harvest, and farmers typically wait for the sweet spot when soybeans reach 13 percent moisture. However, if pods drop to the ground or shattering occurs, fewer bushels are likely to be harvested.
   As harvest approaches in Nebraska, farmers should evaluate soybean fields for compromised standability or yield losses due to damage from insects such as stem borer or soybean gall midge. Harvest should be prioritized in situations where there is insect damage.  
   The next few weeks of observations and notes made by Channel Seedsmen can help provide a picture of fall yield potential and set the stage for next season’s product selection. Visit channel.com to learn more about the Channel Field Check Up Series and to access more agronomy tips and insights. ∆
   TAMMY OTT: Channel Technical Agronomist

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