Soybean School: Late-planted crop playing catch up

It’s been a rugged start for Ontario’s soybean crop. With cool, wet growing conditions, late planting, insect feeding and soil crusting, many growers find themselves squarely behind the eight ball.

According to OMAFRA soybean specialist Horst Bohner, most soybeans have been planted but some growers are still struggling to get seed in the ground. What are the implications for the 2017 Ontario crop?

In this episode of Real Agriculture Soybean School, Bohner explains it’s very difficult to predict yield because of the crop’s ability to make yield late in the season. “It’s just too early to know.”

The biggest challenge is the high number of patchy fields that look to have plant populations numbering 50,000 to 60,000 plants per acre in some areas.

Bohner says many growers have opted not to replant and that’s likely the right choice. “We want a minimum of 100,000 plants, which is only 2.3 plants per square foot. It’s the right decision to leave it alone because it’s only pockets, but those areas are not going to yield what they should.”

That could mean a five-bushel per acre yield loss on a field level, notes Bohner. “It’s not a super start and it’s time to catch up.”

Click here for more Soybean School videos.


Bernard Tobin

Bernard Tobin is Real Agriculture's Ontario Field Editor. AgBern was raised on a dairy farm near St. John's, Newfoundland. For the past two decades, he has specialized in agricultural communications. A Ryerson University journalism grad, he kicked off his career with a seven-year stint as Managing Editor and Field Editor for Farm and Country magazine. He has received six Canadian Farm Writers' Federation awards for journalism excellence. He's also worked for two of Canada's leading agricultural communications firms, providing public relations, branding and strategic marketing. Bern also works for Guelph-based Synthesis Agri-Food Network and talks the Real Dirt on Farming.


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