Agronomy Talk

Agronomy Update

Agronomic Speed Date

Published on Monday, January 5, 2015

A catchy title can be the key to grabbing your attention. Joking aside, speed and date are two agronomic practices that affect our yield year after year: planting date and planting speed.

Planting Date
Beck’s PFR® has continually tested planting dates for 13 years on corn, and 17 years on soybeans. On average, planting early is a time tested way to make more bushels and be more profitable.

Between April 15 and May 15 is your highest yielding planting date in Ohio on average. The other piece of the puzzle is drydown. Another factor of profitability is that compared to late planted corn, earlier planted corn is drier at harvest for a given maturity.


I often get asked at customer meetings, if corn is best planted between April 15 and May 15, when is the best time to plant soybeans? The answer is the same! Although our tradition is to get the corn in and hold off on soybeans, we can make money also by making soybean planting a priority in the spring.



This year's data at our PFR location in London, OH shows the same trend we’ve seen over the years. This year, it paid to plant from the last week of April through first week of May. That’s where we saw some of the highest yields, most consistency in performance, and best maturation/drydown of the crop.


Mark Apelt looked at our test plots in the state and compared how planting date affected the results:


The moisture difference is obvious, and the test weight change also shows a clear correlation. The weather our corn crop experiences during grain fill has a big effect on test weight. Standard deviation is a measure of variation in the plot. The corn planted the first week of May showed the most consistency.

Reality: I know that we can’t always choose the planting date of our crop. I also know that sometimes later planted is better in some years as it was in 2011. I also know that we are at a greater risk of stand loss, frost damage, disease and insect pressure when we plant earlier. But, that is one of the benefits of planting Beck’s seed. Beck’s is a company that fully supports its customers to farm in a way to raise higher yields and farm more profitably. The Escalate™ seed treatment is one of your best defenses against early disease and insect pressure. Beck’s supplies replant seed at no cost to you if early planting doesn’t work out because of adverse conditions. On average, early planted corn is 6-10 Bu./A. better and soybeans are 2-6 Bu./A. better. It takes 20 in. of rain to raise 70 Bu./A. soybeans, and one way to capture moisture is to plant early. This also allows you to capture a longer growing season and partially avoid the summer heat stress at critical reproductive stages that really hurts our soybean crop.

Planting Speed: We tested planting speed on corn this past year.


The results from these and 344 pages of other Practical Farm Research studies are available on our website at

Paper copies are in the mail and should arrive soon.
I wish you a Happy New Year!

                                             Kyle Hoppes Planting at London, OH PFR sight


Comments (0)Number of views (20790)
Alex Johnson

Alex Johnson

Other posts by Alex Johnson
Contact author

Leave a comment

Add comment


Connect with us


Follow us on Pinterest Follow us on Pinterest