Validation Of A Decision Tool To Identify Economically Optimum Planting Dates

Grants and Contracts Details


Results from our field experiments and simulation studies reveal that producers in Kentucky may benefit from a significant increase in economic returns when advancing planting date from mid-May to mid-April ($741 ac-1 and $445 ac-1 average increase under irrigated and rainfed conditions, respectively). Our results also indicate that irrigation may increase net returns by $4,324 ac-1 on average, compared to rainfed conditions. Of interest, planting in April may also decrease net returns in 15% of years compared to planting in May under rainfed conditions, due to higher incidence of water stress during crop reproductive stages in the summer. Thus, producers may benefit from adapting cultivar maturity, or using relatively later planting windows under rainfed conditions and soils with relatively lower soil water holding capacity. We have translated our findings in form of a decision tool with economic analysis that can provide planting date, cultivar maturity, and irrigation recommendations tailored for producers at different locations in Kentucky. Given the expected high impact on economic returns from these practices, it is essential to thoroughly validate results from our decision tool with data from independent experimental trials. In 2023, our validation experimental trials did not meet the expected yield gain with a May planting date due to relatively lower emergence and plant stand compared to later planting dates. Experimental trials that include different planting dates starting in April, as well as both irrigated and rainfed conditions are still very limited in Kentucky. We propose to conduct a comprehensive planting date x irrigation x cultivar maturity trial in 2024. This new proposal will also fund the last year of the graduate student working on this project that will summarize findings in an extension publication and educational video.
Effective start/end date7/1/246/30/25


  • Kentucky Soybean Promotion Board: $27,965.00


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