Want to set the stage for a strong soybean crop? Start by seeding into warmer soils. Light tillage can help break up crop residue and spread it evenly across your field. Working up soil also attracts sunlight and heat more effectively.
Aim to seed into moisture to give your beans a better start. If possible, try to time seeding so that it’s at least a couple days before a major rainfall, as too much cold water in the soil can impact emergence.
Crop rotation is important to consider, since common root diseases such as rhizoctonia, can affect both canola and soybeans. But smart crop rotation can also help you ensure that you’re keeping disease inoculum levels to a minimum when rotating out of non-host crops. Generally, the best practice is to seed soybeans after a cereal crop.
Weed control timing is especially important in soybeans, as they are not a highly competitive crop. Early competition from weeds will result in plants that are smaller, weaker, not as vigorous, and ultimately contribute lower yields.
The “critical weed-free period” for soybeans is from emergence until the third trifoliate. Use tank mix options suited for your growing area during your first herbicide application so that you can extend your length of weed control.
Marc Brown is a soybean research associate with Syngenta Canada.