Unplanted Soybean Seed
The extended rain events throughout the growing season have prevented many growers from planting all their soybean acreage. In some cases the seed could be returned, but some could not.
One option is to use the leftover seed as a cover crop. Seed treated with a fungicide cannot be sold as grain; therefore, using the seed as a cover crop is a way to still be able to use the seed.
Some ask the question if the seed can be kept and be used next year. Years ago, farmers saved seed they harvested in fall and planted it in spring. The issue with our current situation is seed from this spring was held during the heat of summer compared to fall harvest then planting in the spring. Also, planting rates years ago were many times twice those of today. Seed prices are high and today’s growers cut seeding rates to the minimum to maintain high yields. We would recommend not planting old seed because if the stand is affected, you have damaged your yield potential for that year’s crop.
However; if you decide to keep seed from this spring to next year, you should not only conduct a germination test but also an accelerated aging test to identify the loss of vigor. The germination test may show good germination but the seed under stressful conditions may not survive. The accelerated aging test is used to identify if seed has problems under stressful conditions or an estimation of the vigor of the seed. The Missouri Crop Improvement Association can conduct these tests.
For more information, contact Wayne Flanary at 660-446-3724 or Heather Benedict at 660-425-6434, Regional Agronomists, University of Missouri Extension.