Soybean School: Planting on corn rows costs money

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It pays to steer clear of those corn rows when planting soybeans.

In this episode of RealAgriculture Soybean School, Syngenta agronomist Eric Richter explains that planting directly on, or too close to, last year’s corn row produces seed mortality rates between 50% to 80%.

He notes that it really doesn’t matter whether growers are pulling a drill, air seeder or planter – you’re simply wasting seed. All the chatter created from running over the row creates poor seed-to-soil contact and also makes it near impossible to maintain consistent planting depth and seed spacing.

How close is too close? Richter recommends growers stay at lease 2.5 inches off the row to ensure gauge wheels are not running on last year’s root balls or the row. (more below the video)

Richter notes that soybeans do have the ability to compensate for seed mortality in a field situation, “but if we’re shooting for much higher yields and profitability – 65, 75, 85 bushels per acre – planting on the row is not going to get it done for us.”

Depending on the soybean system, Richter explains that farmers have the option of using planting technology or tillage to help them maintain their distance.

Click here for more Soybean School episodes.

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