It won't be long now when the first soybeans seed of 2012 goes into the ground, assuming soil conditions are right. And we're not talking at the southwestern tip of the state. There are a few die-hards who have discovered that for them, at least, planting soybeans in late March produces good yields, and lets them start harvesting earlier in the fall.
Most people aren't that extreme in picking planting dates, even if some claim it works. However, spring planting season is coming, and experts who work with farmers everyday say it helps to have a plan. Are you going to plant corn and soybeans at the same time? Which hybrids or varieties should be planted first? What changes could the weather force you to make? These are all questions to think about ahead of time, before the day arrives when conditions are right and the planter is ready to roll. '
Traci Bultemeier, an accounts manager for Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Ft. Wayne, can talk details with anyone. However, when she boils the planting date discussion down to what's most important, she comes up with more of a philosophy than specific advice. She is also a member of the Indiana Certified Crops Adviser organization.
"Typically, planting earlier gives both corn and soybeans a better opportunity to capitalize on sunlight, rainfall and warm temperatures," she says. "When your family is making the final decision (about when to plant what), remember that getting it right from the start and spreading your risk will return great benefits.
"Staying in contact with each other and having open lines of communication are just as important as the ground conditions. Being in agreement now about your plan will make it easier to head to the field when the conditions are right."