Evaluating Soybean Stand

Uneven Soybean Emergence

Soybean planting is well underway throughout Ohio.  The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service reported 23% of the soybean acres were planted by May 10 (and many more acres were planted between May 10 and 18) up from 13% at the same time last year.

As soybeans are emerging, consider evaluating your stand this spring.  Most are reporting good stands; however, there have been some reports of damping-off.  To quickly estimate stand, count the number of plants in 69’8” of row for 7.5 inch row spacing, 34’10” for 15 inch row spacing, or 17’5” of row for 30 inch row spacing.  These counts represent 1/1000th of an acre (i.e., 120 plants in 69’8” of row in 7.5 inch row spacing = 120,000 plants/acre).  During the past ten years, the AgCrops Team has conducted several seeding rate trials.  When planting in May, soybean yield is maximized when there is at least 116,000 plants/acre at harvest.

Keep in mind that soybean stand may look a little uneven especially in areas of Ohio that are dry.  If there are gaps where soybeans have not yet emerged, dig around in the area where there are no plants.  If the seed that is healthy and germinated, but just not broken through, with moisture, the soybeans should continue to emerge.   

Crop Observation and Recommendation Network

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.

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