Attention turns to soybeans
By Stephani Duff
As corn planting season comes to an end for local farmers, soybean planting is quickly becoming the priority. Similar to factors that help determine how much acreage to corn will be planted, the decision on acreage to beans is decided largely on the farmers’ particular rotation; Tom Smith, a Logan County farmer explained that his rotation includes soybeans, wheat and hay.
John Smith, Auglaize County Ohio State Extension officer explained the rotation as well.
“A lot of times farmers will base their acreage to soybean decision on the amount of corn that was planted previously; they also often alternate the planting schedule every other year.”
A lot of farmers use no-till when planting soybeans and Tom Smith explains what the preparations for soybean planting look like for his farm.
“Because we are no-till the only preparation we really do is to spray burndown to take care of weeds; part of the spray is residual to take care of weeds until they reach canopy,” Tom Smith said.
John Smith further explained what goes into the no-till planting process.
“Farmers that are no till will often go back into the old corn crop and plant the soybeans,” he said.
“Farmers typically plant 170 to 170,000 soybean seeds per acre, according to an Ohio State University study, and most will plant those in 7– to 8-inch rows,” John Smith said of the planting process.
There aren’t as many risks with planting soybeans too early as the Ohio weather is usually warmer around soybean planting time, but Tom Smith explained the few risks involved.
“My brother sows the soybeans around the twentieth of April; we usually wait until that date because if we plant too soon and the temperature of the ground gets too cool or too wet, we will lose a percentage of our stand,” Smith said. “The ideal ground temperature for soybean planting is between 50 and 60 degrees and it is helpful if we can receive several sunny days with temperatures up into the seventies. What you do want to stay away from, however, is damp ground.”
Tom Smith explained that the range of yields for soybeans depends on the year, but are typically between 35–70 and the average is about 55.
While most say that soy ranks behind corn as far as income, Tom Smith believes soybeans to be just as important as corn.
“I find that soybeans and corn are equally important in West Central Ohio because due to the fact that it is part of a rotation and, for our planting cycle, is a part of the wheat cycles, it adds nitrogen to the soil for growing crop,” Tom Smith explained.
John Smith seconds Tom’s statement.
“Soybeans are the No. 1 money producer in Auglaize County and corn is No. 2; this may not be true in every county or in all of Ohio, but it would be accurate for counties with heavy livestock,” he said.
Soybeans ranking in Ohio fields…
Data for acres planted for soybeans in 2012 by county: Adams: 22,298 Brown: 77,608 Clinton: 97,813 Fayette: 100,305 Greene: 62,118 Highland: 95,190 Madison: 110,697 Pickaway: 106,002 Ross: 59,719
(Stephani Duff writes for the Troy Daily News.)