It’s a good time to check your soybean stand. Plant counts are important to see how close you came to your targets. Using the 1000th of an acre method for beans;
– 7 inch spacing measure 74′ 8″
– 15 inch spacing 34′ 10″
– 20 inch spacing 26′ 2″
– 22 inch spacing 23′ 9″‘
– 30 inch spacing 17′ 5″
After you have measured the proper distance, count the number of plants in the measured distance and multiply that number by 1000. This will give you your plants per acre.
Example: on fifteen inch spacing measure 34’ 10″ of a row and if you count 150 plants within that distance multiply 150 by 1000 you get 150,000 plants/ac. Do this in ten different areas of the field to get a good field average.
When doing this, it is also important to look below the soil surface. Dig the plants out of the ground and soak them in a pail of water. After a few minutes try and clean all the mud off the roots gently as not to pull nodules off the roots. Sometime after the first trifoliate has emerged nodules should start to develop. Once they are actively converting nitrogen the inside of the nodules will be pinkish in colour. Nodules will generally develop on the tap root first especially if an on seed inoculant was used. These tap root nodules are very important as its believed they can be up ten times more effective as nodules on the lateral roots.
This soybean plant has excellent tap root nodulation and starting to see some on lateral roots as well. This is from one of my fields that had 1x liquid with extender and 1x peat with no in furrow inoculant the field has had beans two previous times.
Another thing to check for is how the roots are growing which will tell you a lot about things such as how your planter or drill worked, did you plant too deep, too shallow, was it too wet resulting in too much compaction did you roll at the right time or was too much trash a problem. It’s good to do this evaluation so we know what works well and something’s you might change.
For instance this plant again from the same field as previous picture shows that I did have some compaction issues.
You can see the root grew laterally before going vertical, you may also sometimes see the tap root just below the soil surface is very thick which can result from compaction or planted too deep.This can cause stress on the young plant because it uses much more of its energy to push to the surface. We have all seen how a ,fudge! sorry watching game six and Bruins just scored to go up 2-1 not that I’m a huge hawks fans them winning is the lesser of the two evils, anyways seen how a soybean germinates and emerges the seed basically doubles in size splits and gets pushed back out of the ground that takes a lot of energy. OMG the bruins choke again!
Anyways take this time to evaluate your soybean plant stands, look for nodulation, problems with planting, root rot issues or things you did differently this year that worked out great.
With the rain the last couple days things should be really taking off!