Yes, this is a repeat: Temperatures are still cool

Soil temperatures from around the state are finally approaching optimum planning but still on the cool side for soybean.  From the weather stations at the branches, these are the soil temperatures at 2.5 inches, from April 20 and on May 4:

County                 Research Branch              Temperature (F) April    Temperature (F) May 4

Jackson                 Jackson                                 51.1                                        55.9

Noble                    Eastern                                 51.8                                        55.6

Piketon                  Piketon                                 49.3                                        54.2

Clark                      Western                               50.6                                        54.2

Huron                    Muck Crops                          45.5                                        52.8

Ashtabula              Ashtabula                            32.1                                        49.9

Sandusky               North Central                       47.0                                        52.2

Wood                     Northwest                           40.8                                        51.8

Wayne                   OARDC, Wooster                 --                                            56.0

Before heading to the field, consider the conditions you will be planting into. Soybean germination begins when soil temperatures reach 50°F and moisture is present at the planting depth of 1-1.5 inches. In these conditions, emergence can typically be expected 2-3 weeks after planting. Do not plant early if the soil is excessively cold or wet. Slower germination and compaction can negate the benefits of the earlier planting date.  Soybean yield tends to decrease when planting after May 10; however, any benefits of earlier planting may not be realized if soil conditions are not adequate (too wet/too cold).   

I’m an optimist…So, keep in mind soybeans are an incredibly flexible crop.  In 2011, only 4% of the Ohio soybean acres were planted by May 22.  Last year, 45% of the soybean acres were planted by May 19.  However, the state average soybean yield in 2011 was only 1 bushel/acre less compared to 2013.  Clearly, the weather in the remainder of the growing season is also important.

About the C.O.R.N. Newsletter

C.O.R.N. Newsletter is a summary of crop observations, related information, and appropriate recommendations for Ohio crop producers and industry. C.O.R.N. Newsletter is produced by the Ohio State University Extension Agronomy Team, state specialists at The Ohio State University and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). C.O.R.N. Newsletter questions are directed to Extension and OARDC state specialists and associates at Ohio State.