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Below's tips to soybean success

Dr. Fred Below (center) talks with growers at the BCS winter chemical meeting near Gibson City Thursday evening / CIFN photo.

GIBSON CITY – Dr. Fred Below from the University of Illinois has come up with some secrets to soybean success.

He shared the information during a winter chemical meeting hosted by BCS, LLC at the company’s Gibson City plant Thursday evening. Below’s keys to a successful crop include: weather, fertility, genetics/variety, foliar protection, seed treatment and row spacing.

Planting early is not one of the secrets to success, but Below still believes planting dates are important and acknowledges soybean plants can be helped greatly if they are planted in a timely manner.

“There’s no such thing as a soybean nitrogen credit,” Below explained.

Soybeans need to accumulate quite a few nutrients in a short amount of time and those nutrients must have a high harvest index value. According to Below, the fullest maturing variety for the area usually gets the highest yield – especially if it is planted early. Moisture levels in the fall also tend to be higher with the full-season seed varieties.

Below said treated seed emerges better and grows faster after emergence when compared to a non-treated or naked seed. He predicts growers will eventually fertilize where the root is as crops get off to a stronger start with banded fertility.

“Soybean yield can be increased with better crop management,” Below noted.

Planting early and catching August rains are two important factors for soybeans. Also, some nitrogen fertilizer at planting can help.

More information can be found at Below’s website:

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