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Late Soybean Planting Doesn’t Mean Change in Variety

Checkoff-funded study finds higher yields for earlier maturity group – even with later planting

CANTON (May 19, 2014) – It’s been a cold, wet spring for much of the soybean belt. Soybean planting in Mississippi has been delayed due to the weather, and a later planting date could have a big impact on yields. Farmers thinking about switching varieties to accommodate this later planting date may want to first consider preliminary results from a soy-checkoff-funded study.

“Using a determinate variety, generally a late group 5 or group 6, for a later planting date is an old-school train of thought and one not backed up by current research,” says Bobby Golden, Ph.D., Mississippi State University (MSU) assistant professor and cooperator in the study. “If you look at data from the last two years at Stoneville, choosing a group 4 soybean is going to be the best option, in many instances regardless of when you plant it.”

After two years of data, Golden, who works at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, says this research proves that group 4 soybeans will hold up and yield well in a much wider planting window than previously thought. Even group 3 soybeans out-yielded group 5 varieties in later planting situations at Stoneville, he said.

Stoneville is one of 10 locations in the study that stretches from Missouri to Texas. Another MSU researcher, Normie Buehring, Ph.D., conducts research for the study at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona. Researchers at each location planted at four specific dates, ranging from the earliest a farmer would typically plant to what would be considered a late planting date, with two dates in between. For each planting date, they planted four varieties in each maturity group, 3 through 6.

The Mid-South Soybean Board (MSSB) and United Soybean Board provided funding for the study. As a member of MSSB, the Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board (MSPB) and other state soy checkoff boards provide funding to be used on research projects that address production topics that cross state lines.


MSPB is made up of 12 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soy checkoff on behalf of all Mississippi soybean farmers. These volunteers work to increase soybean farmer profitability by investing checkoff dollars in ongoing public research and extension programs that address Mississippi production challenges, thereby driving the adoption of best management practices developed through research and ensuring the sustainability of Mississippi soybean production.

For more information on the Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board, visit

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