Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Planting Large Soybean Seed

The topic of large bean seed occasionally becomes an issue.  There can be a couple different reasons for this.  In 2013, we encountered large bean seed that was a direct result of very late rainfall in 2012 seed production fields.  Plants had already set the number of pods and number of seed per plant and late rainfall could only add yield to already existing plants, which caused them to swell.  The result was large seed.  Occasionally though, the genetic blueprint of a plant results in larger than normal seed.  In other words, large seed is just a characteristic of certain varieties.  This latter situation is the case with a couple bean varieties in 2015.
                So what exactly does that mean for the grower?  How can they determine if planter calibration is needed to seed at the right rate?  The answer to that depends upon the type of planter being used and it depends upon the number of seeds per pound (number of seeds per pound is a measurement of seed size – think of less than 2500 seeds per pound being large seed).
                Kinze “finger pickup” planters may require a move from the 60 cell black plate to the 48 cell blue plate.  John Deere “finger pickup” planters may also require a change in plates or switching from an “A,” “B,” or “C” setting.  Vacuum style planters may require and adjustment of the vacuum setting or may require no change at all.  The guide below is our planter calibration chart.  It does not replace the operator’s manual for each planter, but it is a good quick reference/first step in the planter calibration process.

                One other note on planter calibration.  Burrus has produced a Burrus Agronomy U session on this very topic:

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