Soybean Planting Date Study

Key Points

  • Yield Increase: We’ve seen that pushing planting dates up by two weeks (from the first half of May to the second half of April) can increase yield up to 15 Bu/A.
  • Frost Consideration: While soybeans can typically handle cold conditions, the soil still needs to be fit. If you plant early, you do take on a level of risk of frost to the crop once it sprouts.
  • Ideal Time to Plant: We’ve found that planting soybeans between the fourth week of March to second week in April at the PTI Farm produced the highest yield.
  • Late-Maturing Variety: Initial data at the PTI Farm suggests if you have the chance to plant early, late-maturing varieties will produce the longest maturing period leading to the most nodes.

When is the best time to plant soybeans?

For many growers, it’s been historically common to wait to plant soybeans until corn planting is complete. However, data from the PTI Farm shows us that if you are planting soybeans around the traditional timeframe in May, you may be missing out on some significant yield potential.

Across five years of tracking various planting dates for soybeans, we have found that the ideal time to plant soybeans is actually in March and April, provided conditions are ideal for planting. By planting early, you can extend the growing season for soybeans, leading to a higher yield.

While the idea of planting as early as March may make many growers nervous, even pushing dates just two weeks earlier could hold significant advantages for you! This shift could produce up to a 10.3 Bu/A yield gain.

“If I’m given the opportunity to plant early, soybeans are going to be my go-to crop.”

Jason Webster

Commercial Agronomist

Soybean Planting Date Study Results

In-Depth Study Videos

InsidePTI S4•E04

Optimum Planting Date ‣ Soybean

InsidePTI S3•E26

Variety Maturity & Planting Date ‣ Soybean

InsidePTI S3•E03

Planting Date ‣ Corn + Soybean

InsidePTI S2•E08

Planting Date ‣ Soybean

InsidePTI S1•E02

Optimum Soybean Planting Date

Study Details 

Study data collected 2018-2022 at the PTI Farm in Pontiac, IL.

Planting DateVariedRotationBAC
Row Width20" & 30"Population120K-140K
Soybean Prices

2022 - $13.96

2021 - $11.98

2020 - $9.75

2019 - $8.68

2018 - $8.80


2022 - GH 2922E3

2021 - GH3582

2020 - GH3546X

2019 - GH3546

2018 - 31A22X

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