Source: Ohio State University Extension

Soybean planting is well underway. The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service reported 23% of the soybean acres were planted by May 10 (and many more acres were planted between May 10 and 18) up from 13% at the same time last year.

As soybeans are emerging, consider evaluating the stand this spring. Most are reporting good stands; however, there have been some reports of damping-off. 

To quickly estimate stand, count the number of plants in 69 feet, 8 inches of row for 7.5-inch row spacing, 34 feet, 10 inches for 15-inch row spacing, or 17 feet, 5 inches of row for 30-inch row spacing. These counts represent 1/1000th of an acre (i.e., 120 plants in 69 feet, 8 inches of row in 7.5-inch row spacing equals 120,000 plants per acre).  

Over the past 10 years, the AgCrops Team has conducted several seeding rate trials. When planting in May, soybean yield is maximized when there is at least 116,000 plants per acre at harvest.

Keep in mind that the soybean stand may look a little uneven, especially in areas that are dry. If there are gaps where soybeans have not yet emerged, dig around in the area where there are no plants. If the seed is healthy, germinated and just hasn’t broken through, with moisture they should continue to emerge.