• It’s too late for lime this year. If your soil pH comes back low, you can apply agriculture lime, but it will not help much until the 2012 growing season. If you could have applied lime last fall, that would have been ideal. Pelletized lime is marketed as reacting faster with the soil, but it will not react fast enough to help with this season. Save your money and stay with commercial agriculture lime.

If your pH is really low (5.5 or less), lower your expectations for yield. Unless you receive an inch of rain every week during the growing season, yields will be reduced.

If soil pH is below 6.2, molybdenum deficiency can occur.  You can apply sodium molybdate as a seed treatment; however, this can greatly lower the numbers of live rhizobia for seed that is inoculated, so the seed should be planted immediately.

A better option for inoculated seed would be to broadcast the molybdenum on the soil. In AGR-1: Lime and Nutrient Recommendations, the suggestion is to “dissolve one pound of sodium molybdenate (6.4 ounces of molybdenum) in 20 to 40 gallons of water and spray uniformly ahead of final seedbed preparation. Not more than 2 pounds of sodium molybdenate (13 ounces molybdenum) per acre should be used in any five-year period.” In reality, no one is going to apply 40 gallons of water to the acre. Some of you will try to cheat and get away with 10. If you do, make sure that the sodium molybdenate will stay in solution.

• Control weeds early and stay aggressive. If at all possible, burn down the sod before you plant soybeans. Ideally, soybeans should be planted into “brown” remnants of weeds. Either gramoxone or glyphosate are good options. Gramoxone tends to work a little better than glyphosate at cooler temperatures. Glyphosate is preferred if a high percentage of the grass is orchardgrass. Don’t be surprised if it takes two passes to completely kill the perennial plants in the sod. 

• Try to stay no-till if possible. Water-holding capacity is maximized with no-tillage.

• Whether no-tillage or tillage is used, there may be low areas in the field that are suitable for sod waterways. Keep those areas of the sod. They will help slow surface run-off and reduce erosion.