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Chuck talks soybeans - when to plant and best varieties for greater yield

Chuck talks soybeans - when to plant and best varieties for greater yield

By Andrew Joseph,

At the 2021 Great Ontario Crop Yield Tour—’s six annual event—Chuck Belanger, the Ontario Market Development Agronomist with Maizex Seeds Inc. discussed soybean strategies to achieve a better yield. 

According to earlier studies showing soybeans to be hardier than corn, farmers have wondered if it was more prudent to get soybeans into the ground ahead of corn with an earlier planting—but does it really make a difference?

There are, of course, mitigating factors that can determine if a planting is too earlier, such as the weather.

Relating an instance of a customer who planted some of his soybeans on March 24 and planted still more two weeks later and began to see some emergence—but then snow and frost hit, causing him to lose over 33-percent of the 140,000 he wanted. 

“But in late August when I went to visit him, that plot had 58.9 bushel—which just floored me,” stated Belanger, “because I thought I’d see 30 to 40 bushel.”

He noted that although there were additional problem issues and had to spray a few extra times, the result was still quite impressive.  

To combat the risk of a late snow or frost and to have increased yield, Belanger said the farmer could have planted a higher maturity plant such as a 2.3 or 2.4, rather than the 1.9 he had worked with. That, and upping the population could have allowed him to finish with his original goal of 140,000. 

Belanger did acknowledge that the farmer’s success was aided by the variety of soybean plants he grew which still provided him with his decent result. 

At the Maizex trial farm in Woodstock, Belanger said his company test-planted two varieties early on April 14, 2021, even though it was still cold. 

“We planted the Superior R2X—a 2.7 maturity group—and put it up against Cyclone, a 1.5 maturity group,” explained Belanger but did note a mistake was made. “The Superiors are a great variety and excellent for heavy clay, but in loam (here), it gets growthy—(it has an) elongation of the body and has fewer pods.”

On April 14, pod count on the Superior plants was 36, with 66-percent of the pods three-bean. The Cyclones had 59 pods, about 73-precent of which had three beans per pod.

Another early planting on April 26 showed virtually the same pod count.

However, utilizing the more standard planting date of May 10, just four days later the Superior variety had 53 pods, while 56 pods were on the Cyclone—so about the same as the early planting. 

But the later planting was more interesting, said Belanger. “There were more four bean pods” on the Superior, “though hardly any on the Cyclone.” 

Conversely, on the two earlier plantings done in April, the Superior variety plants had at least four or five four-bean pods per plant. 

The take-away, said Belanger, is that “It shows that you’re not going to gain a bunch of yield by planting early,” but did acknowledge that use of a special variety of soybean plant did create a 6.4 to 7.0 bushel advantage over other plants.

Belanger then took the Crop Yield Tour audience to inspect some of the Maizex soybean trial plantings and discussed differing forage soybean plants like the impressive Mammouth variety. 

To contact Chuck Belanger, call 519-401-0715, or email him at or see the Maizex website at

View the video below to see all of Belanger’s findings.

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