No. 14 Article 4/June 26, 2009

Soybean Planting Delays Continue

Soybean planting delays continued this week, with statewide progress moving forward only 6% from June 14. The June 21 Crops and Weather report indicated 79% planted, in contrast with 88% by the same date in 2008 and 96% averaged over the last 5 years. Progress was hampered by several thunderstorms and heavy rainfall, while the high temperatures and humidity contributing to those storms have helped growth of planted corn acres. The East Southeast and Southeast reporting districts are farthest behind, with 45% and 64% planted. Several acres in those two regions are in double-crop cropping systems (winter wheat followed by soybean); 98% of the wheat crop is filled, 42% is ripe, and 6% is already harvested. By now, quite a few soybean acres intended to be full-season single crop will be planted at the same time as many double-cropped acres.

If you have both double-crop and single-crop soybean fields to be planted, scout to find the field offering the best planting conditions. Soybeans in the double-crop rotation (following winter wheat) could perhaps be planted even earlier than some single-season fields. Transpiration of water through the leaves of the winter wheat crop will have wicked water out of the ground at faster rates than soil surface evaporation prior to wheat maturity. However, the residue left following wheat harvest may create a dense mat of straw and slow the rate of surface evaporation if rainfall occurs between wheat harvest and soybean planting. These conflicting factors will create situations that are field-specific based on interactions between wheat maturity and harvest with rainfall timing.

As we approach very late single-crop planting, recommendations should start to follow those for double-cropped soybean:

--Vince M. Davis

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