Late Soybean Planting Recommendations

Considerations and management options for later maturity soybeans.

Excessive rains can delay soybean planting. Proper management can help maximize yield potential and reduce the risk of frost damage.


What to Consider

As planting is delayed, switching early maturing soybeans to later maturing soybeans may help increase pod height and yield potential. The exact time to switch products varies slightly by region. Late maturing soybeans typically reach maturity before frost with some time to spare. However, as the season progresses, you may want to consider switching full season soybeans to mid season soybeans to minimize the risk of frost damage in the fall.

Management Options

Weed control. A good burn down herbicide application can kill existing weeds at planting and help the soybean crop to get off to a good start. Planting herbicide tolerant soybeans can help control weeds during the growing season. Always follow label directions when making applications.

Insect control. Scout often and thoroughly as economic thresholds may be met faster with a late-planted soybean crop.

Row spacing. Plant soybeans in narrow rows (less than 30-inches) or with a drill to help increase canopy closure, sunlight interception and biomass accumulation.

Seeding rate. Increase seeding rate 15% to 20% due in part to smaller plants with later planting.

Planting depth. Plant into a minimum of 0.5 inches of uniform soil moisture, but no deeper than 2.5 inches.

Other Considerations

Plant-back restrictions. Follow all plant back restrictions especially if the field was originally intended for corn and corn herbicides were applied.

Insurance Options. Contact your local insurance agent for insurance coverage and options. The USDA Risk Management Agency has developed the following web page of fact sheets and examples:

Contact your local agronomist for recommendations for your specific situation.


1Staton, M. 2017. Late-planted soybean recommendations. Michigan State University.

2 Pedersen, P. 2008. How late can soybeans be planted? Iowa State University.

3 Prat, K. 2009. Late planting complicates soybean production. Southeast Farm Press.

4 Purdue University Corn & Soybean Field Guide. 2007 edition.

Web sources verified 04/23/18. 130419023034