The Agronomists, Ep 10: Horst Bohner and Dennis Lange on early season soybean management


Clean fields and fit soil will kick the soybean crop off to a strong start, but there’s so much more to big yields than warm soil. In this episode of The Agronomists we go to Ontario’s soybean specialist Horst Bohner and Manitoba’s pulse specialist Dennis Lange to hone in on three major factors that determine soybean success.

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  • There’s a new host. She’s neat.
  • Dennis has cool shirts. What he calls his “sunshine shirts.” The sun always shines when Dennis is around.
  • Do I seed or not? Look at the calendar date, the soil conditions, the forecast, and the number of acres to plant
  • VIDEO TIME! Eric Richter, 80 bushel soybean yield goal
  • Soybeans has been seen as a scavenger crop. It fixes its own N. Are we changing how we are thinking about this in Ontario?
  • They cannot take advantage of fertilizer thrown on the year of
  • Theoretically could we do 60 bushels in Manitoba? On certain fields, yes. They just don’t have the longer season varieties that Ontario does.
  • Plant spacing is important! However — the more plants, the less important spacing becomes
  • If you put two to three seeds in the same hole, only one will really produce yield. At least one will completely die off
  • Manitoba has gained a lot of soybean growers in the last 10 years.
  • Soybean industry in Manitoba has matured. No longer a toddler!
  • Get those nodules functioning. That’s the key
  • Colder soils in spring can be a bit of a question. But it’s not just soil temp that matters.
  • Sulphur is one of those critical elements that we know plants need…but do soybeans need it as immensely? The response from trials has been disappointing, but it doesn’t seem as if we are missing a lot of sulphur from the fields. Some maybe, but not a huge amount
  • The difference between a 50 bushel crop and a 100 bushel crop is a lot more than water in August and amount of heat units, says Bohner. It’s not the limiting factor. We know that because of past years. It’s all about the P and K, y’all.
  • Yield limiting factors in Manitoba…it all comes down to varieties and soil types
  • VIDEO: Horst Bohner, May 2020, Cold start 
  • Soybeans don’t care that much about the overall final stand. What matters, is the yield. If you plant too deep, you’re yield drastically drops off
  • Bohner doesn’t care about soil temperature even more… as long as the soil is dry
  • If you plant three days later in the spring, it correlates to one day later in the fall
  • As long as the soil is fit, Lange says you can plant in early May even. Just watch that future weather!
  • VIDEO: Start clean, stay clean with Dr. Clarence Swanton
  • Keep that field clean from day one. Very similar to dry beans.
  • Important thing is knowing what your weed spectrum is on that field. If you have a problem, you have to be able to tackle it right from the get-go
  • You never really stop assessing your crop
  • In eastern Europe, they do everything by the calendar. That’s not how we should be doing it. It’s not based on the calendar, assess each and every field to its needs
  • Pay attention to how good of a job you did seeding! Don’t wait until it’s time to spray. Be in the field FOR SURE 30 days (if not before) after seeding for evaluating stand-establishment.
  • Basic agronomy cannot be valued enough
  • Figure out the number one yield limiting factor in your field and address it — you’ll be surprised how many bushels ahead that could take you
  • If you have to — hire someone that will help you through that job. It’s very important.
  • Don’t forget to get your CEU credits! Yes — you can get credits, AND watch. We’re here to keep things fun!

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