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Planting beans earlier
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Posted 1/10/2019 00:42 (#7233874 - in reply to #7233573)
Subject: RE: Planting beans earlier

Juneau, WI
We have been pushing as many late April beans as we can. Often times our first week of May beans are some of our best. I look at it this way if you start on the peak ever day after your potential is lower. If we start slightly before the peak we get all the bugs out and are rolling hard through the best days.
Something we have learned the last few years is early beans are several times more sensitive to herbicide. We plan on using a post only program of Prefix, Synchrony XP, and roundup on April beans this coming year, which worked well on the few acres we tried this last year. Plan on following that with Outlook, Cadet, Select, and Roundup to help with our new found water hemp issue. I would not recommend using Valor pre on very early beans. In 2017 we had beans get an inch tall shrivel up and not grow for a month. Still ran over 65 bushel, but could have been a lot better. Figured out how to screw up our early beans with a fall residual this last year. Actually held the weeds off amazingly well. Still yielded with the better farmers of our area that planted mid May, but know we lost ten bushel. There are some management challenges, but the potential is definitely worth it.
Worst case scenario beans crust or frost off. You get free or cheap replant seed and replant problem areas at your normal planting date.
In 2016 we had a great start. We jammed 700 acres in between the 23rd and the 28th of April. Got cold in May. Beans aborted all nodules and had to start over. Still the best beans we have ever had. There will be days early beans will make you sick, but somehow they usually find a way to impress you in the end.
I would say early beans have the potential to be a good ten bushel better than mid to late May beans. UW Madison says about half a bushel per day.

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