By Matt Reese
So Nathan Brown decided he would try to plant some soybeans — about 3 acres worth — on March 24 to see how they’d do. While the stand won’t make it as a whole, Brown did learn some lessons from the experiment.
The seeds germinated well, but struggled to consistently emerge from the cold, wet soils this spring.
“The beans planted March 24 were planted at 2 inches deep. I thought that would keep them in the ground longer to avoid frost, which it did. But, being 2 inches deep, there was not enough warmth to actually get them up and out of the ground once they germinated. Next year I’ll hopefully try planting early again in another plot and I’ll shallow up my planting,” he said. “I learned a lot from the experiment.”
Brown shared about his experiences with the March 24 soybeans on the Ohio Soil Health and Cover Crops Facebook page. He pulled up some of the soybeans from the spotty stand and was impressed with the nodulation that had already taken place. He posted pictures and a description on the Facebook page for others to learn from his experiment as well.
“These all were pulled up by hand and not dug and already the roots are full of nodules. Could early planting work? Maybe, maybe not but we got some out of the ground so I believe it is possible,” Brown said on the Ohio Soil Health and Cover Crops Facebook page. “The possibilities could be big! We will be ready next year! Don’t be scared to try the outlandish, you will never grow if you stay inside a bubble your whole life!”
The social media effort was headed up by Brown and provides a forum for all things related to soil health, no-till and cover crops in Ohio. Various experts (and others in all stages of the learning process) weigh in with their experiences, successes and failures in the fields. The page was created this spring for farmers to learn and share with others from around the state about a wide array of topics that influence soil health in Ohio. Brown encourages other farmers interested in soil health to visit Facebook and join the group.