Corn & Soybean Planting Date Recommendations

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Corn & Soybean Planting Date Recommendations
Emerson Nafziger, Extension Agronomist - University of Illinois

Coming up, we’ll hear some planting date recommendations from Emerson Nafziger. Todd Gleason reports the University of Illinois agronomist is surprised by the consistency between corn and soybeans.

The University of Illinois has conducted planting date…
2:27 radio
2:40 radio self-contained

The University of Illinois has conducted planting date studies for decades. Emerson Nafziger smiles to himself when he says he’s been here for more than a couple of them. It’s the last 10 years he says that has really changed things.

Nafziger :28 …as it probably was twenty or thirty years ago.

The big surprise we are finding is that corn and soybean responses are so similar. What I think has happened with genetic improvement in both crops is that they have both become more stress tolerant and resilient. Consequently, late planting is not quite so damaging to yield potential as it probably was twenty or thirty years ago.

Here’s the other thing. Nafziger says the old rule is that soybeans suffer less than corn from late planting. This meant farmers planted corn first and, only when that was completed, would soybean be sown. This is not the situation today says Nafziger.

Nafziger :24 …much the same for corn and soybeans.

Quote Summary - The fact is the two lines of yield decline, as you get into late May planting for corn and soybeans - as a percentage of maximum yield for a site - those two lines lay right on top of each other. Basically, it says priority for planting dates is pretty much the same for corn and soybeans.

The point being, when soil conditions are right - especially late in the planting season - there isn’t a reason to prioritize based on crop, corn or soybeans, but rather to just plant the field that is in the best condition first. This lengthens out the viable planting dates at the end of the season. A similar thing has happened at the front of the season, too, says Nafziger.

Nafziger :33 …pretty soon after that as fields are ready to plant.

Quote Summary - I think that today, with what we’ve found with corn and soybeans, sometime in mid-to-late April is really the best time to plant either corn or soybeans. I would be inclined to start with corn before the middle of April, but if I had two planters, I’d have the second one planting soybeans pretty soon after that as fields are ready to plant.

If you’d like to read more about the University of Illinois planting date studies for corn and soybeans, please look for Emerson Nafziger’s article on The Bulletin website. Search Google for bulletin-comma-university of Illinois.