[Grainsoybean] July 12 (And Beyond) Soybean & Grain Sorghum Plantings
From: Curtis D. Fountain
Agricultural Extension Agent – Field Crops
Since May 23, the Duplin Co. Airport has received 18.12 inches of rainfall (NC State Climate Office). Approximately 15% of Duplin Co. wheat acreage remains in the field. Many harvested wheat fields have not been planted to soybeans or grain sorghum. Should these fields be planted?
Traditionally, NCSU Extension has suggested July 4 as the final soybean planting date. In a June 28, 2013 email, Dr. Dunphy made the following statements. With the prices we’ve had for soybeans the last 3 years, I should probably move that date to July 10 for double-crop soybeans. It’s not that we cannot produce profitable soybeans planted after July 10, it’s that the likelihood of getting the weather necessary to do so keeps getting smaller. A variety planted July 10 will flower and mature about 10 days later than the same variety planted June 10 would, and thus would not have quite as many hours of sunlight to work with.In 2011, some Duplin County farmers planted grain sorghum after abandoned corn. Necessary grain sorghum nutrients were already present (from the abandoned corn). One grower planted grain sorghum around July 20. His field soils were highly productive, with good water holding capacity. He averaged 55 bushels/acre of grain sorghum. Other growers who tried the same on less productive, droughty soils were not as fortunate, with some grain sorghum not harvested (little/no yield).
Contact your crop insurance provider to discuss what crops you have insurance, what coverage levels will be present at the time of planting, prevented plantings, etc.
There will a cost to leaving the field fallow. Weeds/grasses will need to be managed. You certainly do not want to lose the progress made in managing palmer amaranth. Recommended management would likely translate to leaving remaining wheat straw as is and spraying a broad spectrum herbicide such as Gramoxone (and possibly a residual herbicide). More than 1 herbicide application may be needed prior to frost.
What is the productivity of the soil? The risk will be less for a more productive, good water holding capacity soil. If not planted in mud, the crop should emerge quickly. A good water holding capacity soil will hopefully keep the crop going with little stress and downtime.
Disclaimer: The use of brand names and any mention or listing of commercial products or services in this publication does not imply endorsement by North Carolina State University nor discrimination against similar products or services not mentioned