We were hoping to be about half way finished with our soybean plantings by now, but we haven’t put a planter in the field in two weeks. The rain continues to delay us, but I hope that we will get back into the field next week.
The rain and cooler weather has lowered soil temperatures somewhat and this means that we need to take a few extra precautions, especially pertaining to seedling disease. I wrote a detailed blog a few years ago on seedling disease; little has changed and, for more details, you can view that blog here:
Planting soybean in cool soil will lead to delayed emergence and increased chance of seedling disease that can reduce stands, weaken emerged plants, and inhibit early-season growth. I stress that the greater time required for emergence, the greater probability that the seed will become infected with soil-borne disease. If you are planting into cool soils, I strongly suggest using fungicide-treated seed as an insurance against seedling disease. These treatments will protect the seed and seedling if emergence is delayed.
But, seed treatments should not be a substitute for other practices that encourage rapid seedling emergence. Here is my checklist for insuring a good stand free of seedling disease:
- Know the germination and vigor of your seed; adjust the seeding rate accordingly.
- Insure good soil-to-seed contact by properly setting your planter to cut through the residue and penetrate to the proper depth.
- Plant soybean seed ¾ to 1 inch deep into good soil moisture. Planting deeper will delay emergence
- Consider fungicide seed treatments if planting into cool soils.