2018 has been a challenging year for many North Carolina soybean producers and many are still harvesting, but as the season comes to a close it is never too early to start to think about putting practices in place to increase yields in 2019. Farmers should consider the following for their management plan as they start to think about their crop next year:
- Following harvest, collect soil samples to test soil fertility and nematodes.
- Apply lime or gypsum if pH ranges need to be adjusted. This can also be found through soil sample results.
- Correct nutrient levels, broadcast applications of phosphorus and potassium for increasing soil nutrient status.
- Check soil’s physical conditions for compaction or rutting, to determine need for fall tillage.
- Begin preparing lists of needed inputs, such as seed, fertilizers and pesticides for next year’s crop.
- Make fall herbicide applications to control winter annual weeds. It is essential to scout for weed escapes.
- Begin reading and evaluating regional variety trial results and outcomes from on-farm trials to make seed selection and other management decisions for next year’s crop.
- Begin selecting next year’s soybean varieties and seed treatment decisions.
- Prepare planters and sprayers for the next growing season.
Putting the right steps in place now can pave the road to success in 2019. If you have questions about the best management practices for a particular farm, county extension specialists or crop advisers can help.