Can Ultra-Late Planted Soybeans Counter Low Corn Prices?
Agronomists at the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension are studying ultra-late planted soybeans planted after corn as a means to counter low soybean yields and low corn prices.
Research trials at the UGA Southeast Research and Education Center in Midville have provided encouraging results for Georgia farmers looking to maximize the use of their resources. In 2013 and 2014, agronomists, Jared Whitaker grew more than 50 bushels per acre of soybeans planted on August 9, demonstrating that ultra-late soybeans could be an option to consider as corn prices fall to $3.70 per bushel.
“If corn growers can get the crop out before the second week of August and get beans in quickly, then they can get another crop in for free,” says Whitaker.
Although the practice of late-season soybeans can maximize resources, the team notes that there are other factors to consider. Irrigation is a necessity to eliminate stress, and timing is critical as frost is always a concern. Costs associated with weed control, disease management, and fertilizing must be accounted for, and the team notes that their yield of 50 bushels per acre was achieved through a narrow-row configuration (7-inch, no-till drill) planting more than 200,000 seeds per acre. August 10 seems to be the hard limit on planting, and the proper variety must be used.
Although a risky production method, if 35 – 40 bushels per acre can be achieved for ultra-late planted soybeans, the risk could be worth it to farmers to offset low corn and soybean prices.