Science for Success

Crop Planning

These resources answer common questions when planning for soybean planting. To view the recording of our national webinar on planting considerations where we discuss soybean planting considerations and focus on topics including soybean planting date, row spacing, and seeding rates, click here: Science for Success: Planting Considerations’ Webinar

Row Spacing

Soybean producers across the US use row spacing from 7 to 40 inches; row spacing decisions are often largely controlled by equipment availability and rotational complexity.

This factsheet provides information on Best Management Practices for soybean row spacing as well as considerations for specific regions of the US. How to Pick the Right Soybean Spacing.

In this video, Dr. Rachel Vann highlights important points on soybean row spacing.

Seeding Rates & Population

Soybean seed costs are about 40% of the variable costs in soybean production, and optimizing seeding rate will help to produce high yields without overspending on variable costs. Generally, soybeans require higher seeding rates and more plants per acre in the Northern United States and in later-planted fields across the US. Soybean typically requires fewer plants and lower seeding rates for much of the Midwestern and Southern US when timely planting occurs. The following resources provide research-based information that will help you identify optimal seeding rates for your operation.

Science for Success: Soybean Plant Population Density Factsheet 

Planting Date

Timely soybean planting is just as critical for attaining high soybean yields as it is for other crops such as corn and wheat as it allows for soybean to maximize light interception, achieve higher crop growth rate, increased node number, and lengthen the seed filling period. The following resources will help you identify best times to plant your crop so that you can be ready when conditions are favorable.

The Best Soybean Planting Date

Considerations for Early Planting Soybeans

Improved crop management practices and genetics, coupled with a changing environment have led some farmers to shift their soybean planting dates earlier than the traditionally recommended planting dates. While planting time varies by geographic region in the US, most soybean farmers can plant soybeans earlier without compromising yield potential by adhering to a few recommended practices. Check out the following resources to find some recommended practices for adjusting your soybean planting time.

Planting Soybeans Early

High Speed Planting for Soybeans

Dr. Mike Mulvaney from Mississippi State University discusses the pros and cons of high speed planting in soybean and corn rotations. This video was made by Science for Success, a national team of Soybean Extension Specialists sponsored by the soybean checkoff through the United Soybean Board.

Cover Crops

Cover crops have the potential to prevent soil erosion, suppress weeds, and more. However, growing cover crops for the first time can have a steep learning curve. This factsheet can help you navigate some of the decisions around implementing cover crops in your operation and anticipate potential challenges.

Cover Cropping Before Soybean

Soybean Inoculation

Soybeans have the greatest nitrogen (N) requirement per bushel among row crops, but biological N-fixation can provide 40-70% of the total soybean N requirement. This factsheet and accompanying video go over the importance of biological N fixation, factors that can compromise nodulation, and what to do if nodulation is unsuccessful.

Soybean Inoculation and Nitrogen Fixation

Interpreting Agronomic Data

Agronomic data is all around us in places like product advertisements, extension publications, industry portfolios, and others. Being able to interpret complex data can help you assess the validity of the information presented and use numbers to draw conclusions that can help you make profitable management decisions. This factsheet walks you through how to read, interpret, and make decisions utilizing agronomic data.

Interpreting Agronomic Data

Variety Selection

Soybean variety selection is one of the most critical and complex decisions that farmers make. With so many factors to consider and many different data points to work with, choosing which varieties to plant is often confusing. This resource will outline each decision factor that you should consider when choosing soybean varieties and includes action steps to help you in the variety selection process.

Choosing the Right Soybean Variety

Planter Technologies

Recent investment in planting technology has resulted in many different high- and low-tech solutions for improved planting. New systems are faster and produce more uniform emergence across varied conditions. This factsheet walks through the benefits of these new technologies and what some of the new technologies for seed delivery, planter downforce, in-furrow applications, row cleaners, and closing wheels are. Please note, mention of any specific technologies in this document are not endorsements of any specific technology, nor are they suggestions to use one technology over another.

New Planter Technologies