Early Wisconsin soybean experiment survived winter storm

A Wisconsin farmer known for experimenting with early soybean planting says his test plot looks good, and he’s ready to plant the rest of his soybeans.

Ryan Nell planted a small eleven-acre field near Beaver Dam on March 3rd in what he called phenomenal planting conditions, nineteen days earlier than most of his early soybean plots.

Like most of Wisconsin, Nell received snow two weeks ago, but the beans look good so far. “I went and dug some beans up I think Saturday or Sunday, and they have grown a little bit more since March 11th, which I think is the last time I was out there. They have grown and none of them were rotted. Everything was real firm.”

Nell says the growth is just getting started. “They’re nowhere near emerging yet. They’re probably, if I had to guess, about 50 GDUs is what we’ve accumulated. The radical is just barely out of the seed. A beautiful weekend, 60s and 70s (is expected). I’d be very curious when I go look on Monday what they’re going to look like.”

And, Nell says that late snow soaked in, bringing topsoil and subsoil moisture levels back up. “We’re not in a drought anymore. I’ll say that. Water is bleeding out of hills. The ditches and stuff are full, so I can’t really complain about that.”

Nell says the rain in the forecast is the only reason he’s not planting the rest of his soybeans right now, but he’s optimistic he can get both planters rolling by Sunday or Monday.

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