The Soybean Seeding Rate Conundrum

Shawn Conley, State Soybean and Small Grains Specialist

In a bean-pod…

  • Use a soybean seed treatment
  • Plant less than 140,000 seeds in white mold areas
  • Target a final stand of 100,000+ plants in productive fields
  • Target a final stand of 135,000+ plants in low productivity fields or areas within fields

Soybean seeding rate is one of the most heavily debated and frankly, in my humble opinion, the most overthought agronomic decision we make in soybean. As a general rule of thumb I recommend farmers purchase a bag of seed per acre (140,000 seed count) and plant that entire bag per acre (140,000 seeds) (Figure 1).  Remember your target is to get a minimum stand of 100,000 plants per acre as this population will achieve 100% yield potential in most field environments.  This above recommendation holds true in many high yielding field situations.

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