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Soybean School: Planting deep has pros and cons

By: RealAgriculture Agronomy Team

September 4, 2021

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When it comes to planting soybeans, and especially in dry conditions, depth can play an important role in setting the crop up for success. Some farmers stay at the one to one and half inch depth, while others may be betting on two and a half or even three inches to chase moisture.

In this Soybean School episode, Bernard Tobin joins Matt Chapple, agronomist at PRIDE Seeds, at the company’s education centre, to talk planting depth research. Chapple and the research team planted soybeans at three different depths on three different days and the results are quite obvious.

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Asking “how deep do I plant my soybeans” can be a loaded question, according to Chapple — planting tools, residue, weather forecast, and moisture depth are all factors to consider.

“Regardless of all those factors, we took into account that we’re just going to set the planter at three different depths, on different planting days,” says Chapple.

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The plants at the two inch compared to the one inch, there’s more consistent node and pod set, and a healthier plant. Even more dramatic, is the difference between the two inch depth and the three inch plants, which emerged a week later than the one inch, and are a more compact plant that might be more efficient.

“An interesting observation, that says maybe as we plant soybeans deeper, we’re able to get a more consistent stand, more carbon copy plants, and good yield,” says Chapple.

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