Issue No. 12, Article 7/June 12, 2009
Soybean Planting Progress Update
Most farmers finally closed the chapter on corn planting and opened the one on planting soybeans this past and current week (with a few exceptions, I'm sure). The USDA NASS Weather and Crops report indicated soybean planting was 59% complete as of June 7, which was 25% more than the previous week. The good week of progress almost caught us up with soybean planting progress for 2008, but we are still about 30% behind the 5-year average. A lot of these acres, however, have been planted around variable weather, and in many cases were planted in "questionable" conditions. Make sure you continue to monitor soybean emergence rates and stand establishment--it is more important than ever due to rising soybean seed costs. Monitoring will provide valuable information for future seed-purchase and seeding-rate decisions to match the expected efficiency of your planting practices. I have elaborated on seeding rates, expected seedling development, and replant considerations in earlier issues of the Bulletin.
In addition to finishing soybean planting, keep in mind the development of your planted crops and the unwelcome weeds that may accompany them. One thing that has been very apparent with the later planting progress is that crops and weeds are growing rapidly, since they have ample moisture and warm and sunny days. Be sure you stage your crops and apply postemergence herbicides to manage weeds in a timely manner. You don't want to compound yield loss from weed competition on top of yield loss due to later planting.
With this in mind, as a "weekly word of advice" I want to emphasize the need to read pesticide labels, as there are still many postemergence pesticide applications to make. I know you hear this advice often, but it probably can't be repeated enough. An off-label pesticide application can result in poor efficacy, crop damage, and even legal ramifications for the applicator. So, as it's said, "Please read and follow label directions."--Vince M. Davis