Narrow-row soybeans offer some harvestability advantages over soybeans in 30-inch rows. It is important to recognize that row spacing is influenced by the field environment. Factors such as equipment costs, workload management, and disease management all play an important role. The final characteristics of a soybean plant are variable, with factors such as genetics, soil quality, and climate affecting its form; however, fully mature soybean plants are generally between 51–127 cm (20–50 in) in height and have rooting depths between 76–152 cm (30–60 in). As a result, soybeans planted in 15-inch rows have gained in popularity as a way to capture some of the yield benefit of drilled narrow rows while using a planter instead of a drill. Glyphosate-resistant soybean management system effect on Sclerotinia stem rot. 96:1029-1038. Conditions that may not favor narrow rows. In most cases, there is no difference between 7.5, 10, 15, or 20 inch row spacing and anything less than 30 inch is therefore consider narrow row spacing. Among the largest soybean-producing states there are substantial differences in row spacing practices, with a majority of growers in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Missouri favoring 15-inch spacings, compared to Iowa and Minnesota where soybeans planted in 30-inch rows are much more common (Figure 3). Crop Management doi:10.1094/CM-2006-0417-01-RS. 2015. Because 30-inch planters are typically wider than 15-inch planters, they can cover the ground more quickly. Adjust soybean maturities when planting after about June 10. 32:198-202. Figure 1. Average yield results from ten soybean row spacing studies published during the last 15 years. Other than yield, the most important factor driving soybean row spacing practices is equipment and time management during the planting season. Butzen, S., and S. Paszkiewicz. Because of this complexity, no one-size-fits-all answer should be applied. In the last 10 years, studies show a 3 to 4 bu/acre yield advantage for soybeans planted in drilled narrow rows … In some areas this increase has been substantial. The data available for row spacing from the past twenty years is fairly consistent for Midwest production areas and indicates that narrower row spacing does improve yield. It is recommended not to drill beans and use a tolerant variety to white mold if a specific field has a history of white mold. In light of these findings, seed cost may not be a requisite consideration for row spacing decisions. Higher seeding rates with narrower rows have been a common practice, particularly with drilled soybean; however, not all research supports this practice. Lauer. J. Table 2. Esker, G.P. Planting soybeans is really nothing new, and you can say the whole thing has come full circle. Even in areas such as Eastern Canada and the Northeastern U.S. where drilled narrow rows is still the most common soybean row configuration, drilled acreage has dropped over the last five years. Figure 5. Soybean row spacing utilization according to farm size in 2015 (Small = 1-99 soybean acres, medium = 250-499 soybean acres, large = 500+ soybean acres). A review of soybean row spacing studies published within the past 10 years generally confirms previous results comparing 30-inch rows and drilled narrow rows. J. We have moved away from drilling soybeans in favor of planting. Jeffers. A wide range of row spacings have been used successfully in soybean production. For applications made following the R1 growth stage, which would include most foliar fungicide and insecticide applications, wheel damaged areas will have lower yield. Janovicek, K.J., W. Deen, and T.J. Vyn. Adjusting management practices using glyphosate-resistant soybean cultivars. 2005. Thompson, N.M., J.A. Harville. Narrow-row corn production - when does it increase yield? 2008. 2006. Soybeans have a similar growth habit to bush beans, so there’s no caging or staking required. J. How row spacing … Crop residue can be an important consideration when planting soybeans, particularly in the northern Corn Belt where residue management is more of a challenge. J. Factors such as equipment costs, workload management, planting and harvest efficiency, and weed and disease control can all influence the economic viability of narrow-row soybeans. Soybeans grow best where the daytime temperature averages between 60°F and 70°F (16-21°C). Row spacing in soybean. At this point, plant a soybean variety with a relative maturity (RM) rating of 0.5 units shorter than your original soybeans. 95:564-573. De Bruin, J.L., and P. Pedersen. In eastern trials, 8% of planted PLS per acre did not develop into viable soybean plants. Iowa State Research Farm Progress Reports. 2004. Farmers should take into account disease pressure and weed control options when planting in narrow row spacing. Row Spacing. Agron. The lowest pods will tend to be higher in narrow-row soybeans, potentially reducing harvest losses. In general, weed growth will be reduced in soybeans planted in narrower row spacings and earlier shading by the soybean canopy will help suppress the emergence of new weeds. Growth and yield responses of soybean to row spacing and seeding rate. Sow the soybeans 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) deep into the soil, and space the beans about 3 inches (7.6 cm) apart. Lee. J. The best soybean yields occur on well-drained, but not sandy soils having a pH of 6.5 or above. Yields were similar between 15-inch row and drilled narrow-row soybeans in these studies. Harvest losses are reduced because there are no cultivator ridges to interfere with cutting height. Agron. If you’re using the square foot gardening method, plant 9 per square foot. However, row spacing practices vary widely across different areas. Hanna, S.O., S.P. 107:979-989. ™ ® Trademarks of Corteva Agriscience and its affiliated companies. Wet conditions in many areas during the last few planting seasons have exacerbated this situation by creating very short and intermittent planting windows. doi:10.1094/CM-2008-0317-02-RS. In recent years, however, drilled soybeans have fallen out of favor in many areas, likely due to inferior seed placement and singulation capabilities of drills vs. planters, and the cost of planting additional seeds. Agron. Ideal seed depth for most conditions is 1¼ to 1½ inches, but beans can be planted up to 2 inches deep in sandy soils, … Pioneer Crop Insights. Agron. Bertram, M.G., and P. Pedersen. Because fungicides are only locally systemic and are not translocated from upper to lower portions of the canopy, spray coverage is critical for maximum efficacy. Seeding rate generally appears to have a greater effect on white mold severity than row spacing (Lee et al., 2005). No such trend has been consistently observed in soybean when planting at optimum timings, although narrow rows have proven advantageous with late planting regardless of latitude (Lee, 2006). Actual yield loss due to wheel traffic will vary according to boom width (Table 2). A research study conducted in Delaware and Virginia found significant yield reductions due to sprayer wheel damage in R4 soybeans planted in 7.5-inch and 15-inch row spacings, whereas soybeans planted in 30-inch and wider row spacings did not sustain any sprayer wheel damage (Holshouser and Taylor, 2008). 98:800-807. Kratchovil, R.J., J.T. J. White mold development is favored by cool and wet conditions during soybean flowering. Planting and spacing. J. Agron. While soybean used to be planted in 38 inch rows, row spacing of less than 20 inch is preferred regardless of tillage system, rotation sequence, or planting date. Three planting densities were applied (70, 90 and 110 seeds per 1 m 2) with two row spacing (16 and 32 cm), in 4 replications. Reducing row widths to increase yield: Why it does not always work. Soybean planting date can have a significant impact on yield. Use of nitrogen stress to demonstrate the effect of yield limiting factors on the yield response of soybean to narrow row systems. Row spacing. of Missouri-Columbia Extension. In five studies, drilled soybeans outyielded 30-inch row soybeans by an average of 4.1 bu/acre (Figure 1, Table 1). Agron. S.M., S.Z. The increasing width of planters — many are now 60 feet wide — means that splitting rows with additional units makes planters very heavy. Source: 2015 Pioneer Brand Concentration Survey. 2008. In 2013 and 2014, we conducted a planting date trial at the Western Agricultural Research Station near South Charleston, Ohio. Lambert, D.M., and J. Lowenberg-DeBoer. It should be a surprise, that the majority of the farmers in Iowa still use 30 inch row spacing despite research across the Midwest that has shown an advantage of narrow row spacing. Extensive research studies conducted over many locations and years have compared drilled narrow rows vs. 30-inch rows in soybeans, and have generally shown a significant yield advantage for drilled narrow rows. One of the key issues growers must consider is whether the economics of their farm justify having a machine dedicated specifically to planting soybeans. A fact sheet can be downloaded (pdf file) on soybean row spacing. 100:1488-1492. A more important factor determining the potential for white mold is environmental conditions. Economic analysis of row spacing for corn and soybean. Paper 2131. Wiebold. We prefer the planter for a number of … Planting date. Generally, there is not much yield difference between 7.5-inch and 15-inch row spacing. (800) 262-3804, Iowa State University Online. Online. In most cases, there is no difference between 7.5, 10, 15, or 20 inch row spacing and anything less than 30 inch is therefore consider narrow row spacing. Narrower rows spacings are likely to provide a greater yield benefit in systems where soybeans have a limited time frame for vegetative growth prior to flowering. 1984. Weed Technol. We typically see a yield advantage, however, for soybeans in rows 20 inches or less. 2006. For soybeans planted on droughty … The study’s average early season (2 to 4 weeks after planting) established soybean stand was 130,500 plants/acre with the planting rate of 150,000 pls/acre and 163,800 plants/acre with 200,000 pls/acre. However, the total number of operator hours spent planting would be greater and the second planter would require a second operator, which may not always be feasible. Many farm operations have a corn and soybean planter running simultaneously. While a few studies have shown little to no response of yield to row spacing, no studies to my knowledge have shown a yield increase with wider row spacing. A dense soybean canopy can enhance these conditions and increase white mold severity. These results show that (i) late planting of soybean on clay soil in either row spacing used will result in significant yield decline even with irrigation, (ii) nonirrigated production of soybean on clay soil is risky, and (iii) choice of row spacing is not as important a consideration as is the alleviation of drought stress … 2Purdue Extension recommends row spacing between 7.5 and 15 inches for maximum soybean yield. Spacing Space beans about 4-6 inches away from one another with 24 inches between rows. Once the fungus is present in a field, little can be done to remove the pathogen and management practices to lessen the impact of the fungus must be implemented. Most corn planters are set to plant 30-inch rows, and 15-inch soybeans are generally planted by using split-row units placed between the 30-inch rows. Often, row spacing decisions are made based on what equipment is already available. For that reason, it is important to consider the effect of row spacing on spray coverage. Larson, D.M. In general, studies have found that soybean yield potential is often greater with row spacings narrower than 30 inches. Effect of row spacing and seeding rate on soybean yield. The minimum stand for maximizing soybean yields, and factors that affect this. This demonstrates that many different considerations beyond simply yield potential can affect the best practices for each individual grower. The benefit of moving to a 30-inch spacing is less clear and is not generally recommended by university pathologists for reducing white mold, particularly given the likely reduction in yield potential. 1998. Soybean row spacing preferences vary greatly across the Midwestern U.S. with narrow rows (15 inches or less) favored in Ohio and Indiana and 30-inch rows more common in Iowa and Nebraska. Seeding rate recommendations for southern, central and northwestern Minnesota, as well as various maturity groups. Research on soybeans in 15-inch rows is less extensive, having been conducted mostly within the last 10 to 15 years as this row spacing has gained popularity. 1: Hanna et al., 2008; 2: De Bruin and Pedersen, 2008; 3: Kratchovil et al., 2004; 4: Cox and Cherney, 2011; 5: Janovicek et al., 2006; 6: Bertram and Pedersen, 2004; 7: Pedersen and Lauer, 2003. The extent of this effect will vary by weed species and weed emergence timing relative to the crop (Hock et al., 2006). The growing prevalence of weed populations resistant to glyphosate has made weed management more challenging in some areas; consequently, it is becoming increasingly necessary to consider the impact of cropping system factors such as row spacing on weed growth. For example, Illinois went from 18% to 32% of soybean acres planted to 30-inch rows over the last ten years (USDA-NASS survey). This fungus has spread quickly due to the short rotations, decrease in tillage practices, and narrow row spacing. Renner, D. Penner, R. Hammerschmidt, and J.D. Lee. Source: 2015 Pioneer Brand Concentration Survey. Lambert, R.K. Roberts, A. Mengistu, N. Bellaloui, and E.R. This often results in more 30-inch or drilled soybeans for smaller farms (Figure 5). Plant soybeans as early as possible after April 25 as soil conditions permit; if possible, complete planting by May 20. Soybean seeding rates of 90,000 to 120,000 seeds/acre resulted in the highest profitability. 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