A shift in crop management as more soybeans are planted earlier

A rice extension educator says the shift to earlier planted soybeans has impacted how rice and other crops are managed in Arkansas. Jarrod Hardke with the University of Arkansas says it narrows the planting window for all crops and can make weed control a challenge. “They’re very quickly up next to each other, emerged and just planted,” he says. “It’s starting to make it much more difficult to keep entire fields clean and minimize the impact on your own field, side-by-side, as well as potentially your neighbors.”

He tells Brownfield that earlier-planted soybeans don’t typically cause problems later in the growing season for crops like rice, but if drought sets in early – it can. Hardke says 2022 was a perfect example. “We had some really big beans out there, already well into the reproductive stage when it started getting extremely dry, and we were trying to put the rice to flood,” he says.  “Well, these beans are huge and they’re out of water as well. How do we strike this balance?

He says crops could also hit critical points in the growing season around the same time, and growers will have to account for that as they put together their crop management plans.   

AUDIO: Jarrod Hardke, University of Arkansas

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