Corn and Soybean Digest’s February issue included a story titled, “When bad things happen to good seeds.” The article discussed how an early spring bed isn’t an ideal situation for seeds and how avoiding germination and emergence problems can boost yields.
“We put our expensive seeds into an environment that’s stressful,” says Bill Wiebold, University of Missouri Extension plant scientist. “Unfortunately, a number of bad things – including things other than diseases and insect pests – can happen to high-quality seeds.”
We asked our own Mark Grundmeier, seed product manager, about his thoughts.
“The trend has been to plant earlier and earlier over the past decade. While this practice — in general — has increased yields, there are some pitfalls to watch for and avoid. Farmers should avoid planting into soils that are too wet. This practice always causes problems later due to side-wall compaction and/or uneven emergence. When planting soybeans into cool soils, farmers should consider the use of a fungicide seed treatment such as Latham SoyShield to prevent the advent of seedling diseases.”
The article contained a number of good tips for planting preparation:
- Monitor soil temperature. Wait to plant until the soil temperature is 50° F, lowering your risk of poor emergence.
- Avoid compacting the soil. Delay tilling and planting until the soil is dry enough to minimize compaction.
- Make sure your planter is well tuned. It should open the seed furrow without sidewall compaction.
- Stop the planter often and look. Make sure you are getting uniform seed depth and good seed-to-soil contact.
Click here to read the full article.
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