Home News Michigan Ag News Remembering The Positives of the 2020 Growing Season Headed into 2021

Remembering The Positives of the 2020 Growing Season Headed into 2021

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Field of soybeans on a sunny day. Photo: Ashley Davenport

Despite all the curveballs 2020 has thrown, a lot of growers saw some positive outcomes, starting at the beginning of the season.

“Many growers got a much earlier start to planting this year, with some getting into the fields as early as April,” said Christopher Bauer, Pioneer agronomist. “By May 31, this year, 92 percent of the corn was planted, whereas 2019, only 62 percent was planted. Soybeans, we had 62 percent planted by May 31 of this year, and 31 percent planted by June 2, 2019.”

Bauer said this year’s more normal growing season sets the stage for potentially good yields.

“Corn and soybean yields have been better than expected for many growers, especially those that were fortunate and caught August rains,” he said. “The areas that did not receive August rains, they’ve been seeing yields below average. Those late-season rains are pretty critical in your seed fill and how things finish off for the year.”

As we get ready for the 2021 growing season, Bauer said not to underestimate early planted soybeans in late April or early May.

“By planting earlier, you have the opportunity to plant long maturity varieties with higher potential, you will get a quicker crop canopy to shade the ground to absorb more light earlier in the growing season and to compete with weeds,”’ he said. “You can get increased light interception which allows [the plant] to capture more sunlight for plant growth and seed production. You can get more days in reproduction giving the plant the potential to add more pods and seeds, and you can get more nodes per pod.”

This agronomy update was made possible by Pioneer.