The crops that got planted earlier this month are starting to emerge (photo above: corn seedling, and slowly emerging treated soybean seeds), but growing degree units (GDUs) have been hard to come by.
“It takes 100 GDUs to get corn out of the ground,” said Kevin Carlson, Federated’s agronomy sales manager, and “the very cool weather explains the very slow emergence.” Using a growing degree calculator, it’s possible to plug in a planting date and see how the GDUs stack up, and get a sense of how the seed should be doing
Carlson estimated 75%+ of the corn has been planted in Federated’s service area (“but I’m probably being conservative,” he said). “We aren’t very far on soybeans,” he said, “probably less than 10% overall” as of May 24th.
With so few beans planted, Federated Agronomists are being asked what to do at this point in the season. “Our soybean planting recommendation is to stick with adapted soybean varieties/maturities,” said Carlson. “If we go with significantly earlier maturities we well give up yield. Stick to the adapted maturity soybeans to maintain yield.
Carlson highlighted the need to keep planting populations up in late planted soybeans. “The population is very important on late planted soybeans to maintain yield. You are going to give up more yield than you should if you drop the population,” said Carlson.
As May ends, questions arise: Do I take prevent plant? Do I plant soybeans? What do I do? Carlson said, “Talk to your crop insurance agent. Know the insurance numbers, what they mean, and what their values are.”
Federated Agronomists are happy to provide crop management recommendations, but decisions related to crop insurance are out of their hands. “Communicate with your crop insurance agent and make an informed decision on what to do; it’s different for everyone,” said Carlson.