Stay the Course When Replanting Soybean

Stay the Course When Replanting Soybean

June 27, 2008

Soybean growers just planting or replanting soybeans may be tempted to shift to a shorter maturity, but experts at UNL and at neighboring universities would caution against this.

"Growers should avoid any major shifts in maturity from what they would normally grow," said Jim Specht, UNL Bessey Professor of Agronomy and Horticulture. "At this time, I'd recommend not changing maturity or at the most, using just a half step shorter variety."

Keith Glewen, Extension Educator in Saunders County, a leading soybean production area, echoed Specht's advice on not changing soybean maturity or switching too quickly to another crop.

"While there are other recropping options, soybean is still as good as any for replanting," he said. Forage could be planted if you have a use or nearby market for it and sorghum could be planted but you might need to add nitrogen if it was leached from the soil.

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two articles by Palle Pedersen, Department of Agronomy, in Iowa State University's Integrated Crop Management News:

Producers will need to consider potential yield loss of the existing crop vs. replanting costs and potential reduced yields, according to an earlier CropWatch story by former UNL Extension agronomist Roger Elmore and current agronomist Bob Klein. In some cases, the reduced yield of a hail-damaged field may be higher than the potential yield from replanting. It's almost too late to replant corn for grain and replanting soybeans now could mean up to a 30% potential yield reduction. Estimated yield losses for sorghum are slightly less than for soybeans at this time.

Before doing anything with the field, notify the proper government agency and, if you plan to make a claim, your insurance provider. Discuss replant options and limits; when they'll be able to determine the severity of the loss and their assessment of the loss. Next, consider your investment in the crop, additional expenses, and expected yield at this point. Weed and pest control will continue to be costly, and weed control may be even more difficult if the crop canopy is open. Be sure to consider herbicide replant options for this year as well as next year if applying herbicide this late in the season.

Whenever you open the canopy, weeds will develop quickly. Timely rescue treatments when the weeds are small will be most effective and cost efficient. Otherwise weeds may grow quickly and make harvest difficult to impossible. In addition the weeds will use valuable moisture and nutrients and be very competitive with the crop. Once established they also will produce weed seed which can complicate weed control in future years. If you plan to rotate to another crop next year, check the herbicide label carefully to ensure that herbicide carryover won't be a problem.Hail damage assessment and management options vary according to plant stage, however the procedures are fairly similar from crop to crop and stage to stage:estimate the growth stage; assess the damage; and consider options if yield potentials are low.