Soybean South


Georgia’s Top Ten
Steps For Success


1. Rotate land so soybeans and other legumes are planted (on the same site) no more often than once every two years. If a field has nematodes, plant an appropriate nematode-resistant soybean variety. Avoid deep sands or eroded clay soils.

2. Soil test. Lime and fertilize for soybeans according to test results. Apply an inoculant specific for soybeans if soybeans have not been grown on this land in the last three years. Make sure the soybean inoculant is fresh. Check expiration date.

3. For Coastal Plain soils, use deep tillage (12” to 14”) to get deep soybean rooting. For conservation tillage, use strip-tillage and/or traffic control to reduce soil compaction.

4. Use good cultural practices. Plant between May 10 and June 10. Plant tall-growing and/or late maturing varieties if planting after June 10. Plant in rows 10” to 36” wide. Plant about 145,000 seed per acre (about 10 seed per foot for 36” row spacing. Plant seed 1.0” to 1.25” deep in moist soil. Plant when soil temperature two inches deep is between 70 and 90 degrees F. If irrigating, apply water during vegetative growth if leaf wilt occurs by mid-day and during reproductive growth (R2-R5) to supplement rainfall so that soybeans receive 2.5” to 3.0” of water weekly.

5. Plant recommended varieties for your location and planting situation. Plant varieties of different maturities to spread drought risks.

6. Control weeds. In reduced tillage production systems, do everything possible to obtain a weedfree seedbed at planting. Consider using a soilapplied herbicide. Apply postemergence herbicides when weeds are two inches to four inches tall. Be on the lookout for glyphosate- and ALS-resistant Palmer amaranth (pigweed).

7. Control insects. Scout fields weekly to monitor insect populations. If in the Georgia Coastal Plain, apply preventative velvetbean caterpillar control treatment (Dimilin plus boron) at or after full flower (R2). Treat for stinkbugs and other pod/foliage feeding insects as needed.

8. Control Asian soybean rust and other foliage diseases. Scout fields bi-weekly prior to firstbloom and weekly at first bloom and beyond to monitor for leaf diseases (Asian soybean rust, frogeye leaf spot, etc.).

Pre-bloom, apply foliar fungicide if soybean rust is detected in your fields or very close by. (View UGA soybean Web site for current rust status. Stay alert for local news.)

Post-bloom (R1-R6), apply foliar fungicide if rust is detected in your region or local area (e.g. in UGA/USDA sentinel plots). Specific choice of a fungicide will be determined in part by confirmed proximity of disease to a specific field.

9. Harvest soon after maturity to reduce seed shatter and maintain good seed quality. Adjust combine to match crop and field situations. Begin harvest soon after soybean seed have dried to 13 percent moisture or less.

10. Use a year round marketing strategy. Know your soybean production costs and realize that the best soybean market prices usually don’t occur at harvest time. Forward contract up to half of your expected yield to take advantage of favorable market prices. Use put or call options, if needed, to secure favorable prices.

Prepared by UGA Extension Soybean Team, February 2008. See the 2008 Georgia Soybean Production Guide for more details.