Straight from Corn to Soybeans

What a difference one week makes!  A weekly survey shows 69% of Iowa’s 2011 corn crop was planted as of May 8 compared to only 8% on May 1.

Yesterday, while being interviewed as part of Latham’s Crop Tour, Latham® dealer Mike Aldinger said he finally started planting his corn on Monday, May 2.  He finished planting the last of his corn acres Monday, May 9, on his farm near Iowa Falls, Iowa, in the North Central part of this state.

Without delay, Mike started planting his 2011 soybean crop.  Going straight from planting corn to soybeans appears to be the trend this season, but it has caused many farmers to question whether it’s the right thing to do. Optimal soil temperatures for soybean germination and growth is a minimum of 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit, and soil temperatures statewide are averaging well above that this week.

“Last year many soybeans were planted in mid-to-late April in absolutely perfect soil and weather conditions. Then cold, rainy conditions followed,” John Holmes, Iowa State University Extension crop specialist at Clarion in north central Iowa, was quoted in yesterday’s Wallaces Farmer article.

That’s why it’s important for farmers to take a look not only at current weather conditions but also at the short-term forecast.  If the seedbed is suitable, we’re encouraging our customers to start planting soybeans without delay.

Soil temperatures have climbed an average of 1 degree daily for the past three days in a row in Franklin County, Iowa.  And, soil temperatures should only continue to climb thanks to 90-degree temps yesterday and highs in the 80s and 70s forecast for the next two days.  The five-day forecast calls for temperatures to cool slightly and for rain to set in late this week, so it appears there is a window of opportunity to plant soybeans now.  Why not take it?