Determining Optimal Planting Date and Soil Temperature for Enhanced Growth and Yield
Sustainable Production
Field management Nutrient managementSoil healthTillageYield trials
Parent Project:
This is the first year of this project.
Lead Principal Investigator:
Gautam Pradhan, North Dakota State University-Williston Research Extension Center
Co-Principal Investigators:
Project Code:
Contributing Organization (Checkoff):
Institution Funded:
Brief Project Summary:

Planting date plays a significant role in crop production. There is a need for determining optimal soybean planting dates and soil temperature for the western part of North Dakota that provides optimum growing period, decreases chances of frost and/or drought damage, and enhances grain yield. This project will continue to collect data for outcomes of multiple years of study. This project will enable us to provide pertinent information to producers in western North Dakota on an optimal planting date and soil temperature to increase soybean yield, quality, and secure a profitable future.

Key Benefactors:
farmers, agronomists, extension specialists

Information And Results
Final Project Results


View uploaded report Word file

Research Conducted
A glyphosate resistant soybean variety was seeded at Williston Research Extension Center, Williston, ND on 3rd, 10th, 16th, and 25th of May, and 3rd, 9th, and 15th of June 2018 using a 7 rows no-till plot planter. Soil moisture and temperature data at 4 inches depth were continuously recorded from 04-26-2018 to 10-30-2018. Canopy temperature and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) were measured weekly with a FLIR® E60 Thermal Imaging camera and a modified NDVI Sony camera. The crop was harvested using a plot combine and biomass were collected four days before harvest.

Why the research is important to ND soybean farmers
Soybean acreage has been steadily increasing in ND, including the western part of the state, which has exceptionally drier climate than the eastern part. There is a lack of a soybean production management guideline suitable for no-till dryland soybean producers of western ND. Determination of suitable seeding date and soil temperature is crucial to avoid abiotic and biotic stress and to have a sustainable higher soybean yield and the farm income under no-till dryland condition.

Final findings of the research
There was a significant effect of seeding date on all the analyzed traits except on the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and canopy temperature (CT). On August 22, 2018, the average NDVI was 0.63 and the average CT was 32.4 °C. Soybean seeded on and after June 9 had the highest plant stand than other seeding dates (Fig. 1A). Soybean seeded on May 16th was 3 to 5 inches taller, had maximum above ground biomass, test weight, and grain protein than other seeding dates (Table 1). Soybean seeded on May 16th also produced maximum grain yield of 17.8 bu/a, which was on an average 3.3 to 6.8 bushels more grain than other planting dates (Fig 1B). Soybean 1000 grain weight was higher when seeded after June 3rd and the grain oil content was higher when seeded earlier.

Benefits/Recommendations to North Dakota soybean farmers and industry
The growth, grain protein, test weight, and yield results showed that mid-May is suitable for seeding soybean under no-till dryland condition of Western North Dakota. The experiment will be repeated next year to validate the findings.

The United Soybean Research Retention policy will display final reports with the project once completed but working files will be purged after three years. And financial information after seven years. All pertinent information is in the final report or if you want more information, please contact the project lead at your state soybean organization or principal investigator listed on the project.