Using the optimal soybean planting date is critical to maximize yield for our full season soybeans and planting before mid-May has been identified as a key to maximize yield in high yield environments. Earlier planting dates typically result in more main stem nodes; more nodes result in more flowers and pods and subsequently higher yields. Due to the yield advantages associated with early planting and the rotational complexity of crop rotations in North Carolina, there has been a lot of interest in planting soybeans in April.
For several years the NC State Soybean Extension Program has been working closely with the NC Soybean Producers Association and the USDA Risk Management Agency to generate data that would support moving the Earliest Replant Coverage date for soybeans in this state earlier in the calendar year. There were also efforts through the national Science for Success group to improve the consistency in which Earliest Soybean Replant Coverage dates were set for soybeans across the US.
For 2023, the Earliest Soybean Replant Coverage date will be 4/1 across North Carolina.
This is 15-21 days earlier than coverage in the recent past, depending on your location in the state. The movement of the Earliest Soybean Replant Coverage date in North Carolina will allow growers to capitalize on the yield benefits from early planting while still maintaining replant insurance coverage for planting dates from early to mid April. This tool developed by the Risk Management Agency can be used to search insurance offer dates.