For Georgia, a large majority of the crop is planted to determinate varieties, and there is still a lot of yield potential for determinates. But if a grower wants to swing for the fence and score big yields, choosing an indeterminate variety might be the first step.

For early planting, think about using maturity group V or an indeterminate variety like late MG IV or early V. For early planting, plant May 10 – 30 with determinate varieties. Think about using an indeterminate variety for April 25 – May 15 planting. Try to hit a final stand of 100,000 plants per acre if planting to 36-inch rows.

A lot of Georgia farms are set for 36-inch rows, but narrowing rows down from that 36 inches helps soybean yields. Going to between 20-inch to 30-inch rows pays off, he said, figuring for every one inch narrower than 36 inches brings a 0.7 percent increase in yields. When going for the narrower rows, a grower can shoot for a stand of 125,000 to 150,000 plans per acre.

Rotate behind corn. Fertilize in fall of the year ahead of soybeans. Plant a rye cover crop. Kill the cover in early March. And irrigation is a must. The beans can’t stress for moisture, especially during flowering and early pod set.

Comes down to what a grower can or wants to do in a field. Again, “higher yield” is a relative term. A grower can select an earlier determinate variety, modify planting dates, fertilize properly and with irrigation he can bump yields and likely double what is usually Georgia’s average annual yield.

“Some growers don’t expect a lot (from their soybeans). That’s fine, but some realize there can be higher yields out there and we could be doing more to get them,” Whitaker said.