Ongoing corn, soybean planting delays

Duke Farms cultivates land in central Indiana the first week of June.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Corn and soybean planting delays continue throughout the Corn Belt this month, causing extra stress for farmers.

Purdue Extension published three videos discussing corn, soybean and weed management strategies. Links to the videos are available on the Center for Commercial Agriculture website.

“As we go to the first week of June, there are a lot of decisions that should be made with soybean production,” said Shaun Casteel, Purdue Extension soybean specialist. “First off is seeding rates.

“When you go into late May, early June, soybeans just don’t develop as many nodes. One of our ways of managing that is to put more seeds out there so that we have more of an opportunity for node production, which actually leads to pod production.”

In May, a typical seeding rate is 140,000 seeds per acre. Beginning the first week of June, the rate should increase around 10,000 to 15,000, Casteel said.

The further soybean planting is delayed, the higher the seeding rate.

“By the second week of June, we have to increase again to 160,000 to 165,000 seeds per acre,” he said. “You follow that method throughout the month.”

Bill Johnson, weed scientist at Purdue University, said the marestail and cressleaf groundsel are two weeds that may need management this year.

“We don’t like to see any weed competition in corn whatsoever,” Johnson said. “It’s very sensitive to changes in light, nutrient competition and all those kinds of things.

“Regardless of our planting date, we really want to set our corn system up where we’re using residual herbicides, and we have a minimal amount of early season weed competition.

“And then when we’re planting late like this, if we have to do any post-emergence weed control, the corn is going to go through the growth stages much more rapidly. And we’re going to hit those growth stage cutoffs two or three days quicker now than we would have a month ago.”

As always, scouting fields for weed and disease problems is a good idea.

“Staying on top of these fields, scouting, walking, assessing crop growth stage is going to be really important for some of these herbicides,” said Bob Nielsen, Purdue Extension corn specialist.

Farmers also need to consider visiting with their seed dealers to discuss hybrid maturities of the remaining corn that will be planted.

The later corn is planted, the higher the risk of a killing fall freeze affecting yields.

“The people up north need to think about this sooner than farmers down in southern Indiana because of the differences in growing season,” Nielsen said.

“But clearly, now is the time in the northern half of Indiana to have these discussions with their seed dealer and have the discussions that I outline in my article.”

Nielsen’s advice about hybrid maturity decisions is available at

To view the Extension videos, visit

Erica Quinlan can be reached at 800-426-9438, ext. 193, or Follow her on Twitter at: @AgNews_Quinlan.


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