November 06, 2019

Agronomy Update: Using 2019 Data to Plan Ahead for 2020

BY Dairyland Seed

Even as many continue to struggle with harvest through snow, rain, mud, weak stalks, wet soybeans, there is a lot of yield data becoming available.  It is a challenge every year to make sense of the data and to use it appropriately to make seed purchase decisions for 2020.  Here are a few thoughts:

Dairyland Seed has released a large number of new hybrids over the past two years, and that trend will continue as our breeding program is expansive, deep, and quick.  Our soybean lineup is changing rapidly as we transition to the Enlist™ soybean platform.  We do have a lot of excellent performance data to share, and we look forward to discussing hybrid and variety performance with you.



As harvest continues many producers have been, or soon will be, looking at what hybrids they will be planting next year. Yield is always paramount in those decisions; however, agronomic placement is a close second. One factor that is not always apparent in some on of these decisions is maturity considerations or as some have put it the Maturity Planting Bell Curve.

Maturity Planting Bell Curve is where you plant 10 to 25 percent of your crop to an early maturing hybrid or variety, 50 to 80 percent to your standard maturity range, and 10 to 25 percent to a later maturity.


Early Relative Maturity


Normal Relative Maturity


Later Relative Maturity

The reasoning behind planting multiple hybrids of varying relative maturities is to spread out your risk should you hit a hot and dry period during that ever-critical pollination period. By spreading out your relative maturity you, in theory, also spread out your harvest and drying facility load or bottleneck.

Over the years agronomists and seed sellers have typically recommended that producers plant hybrids that reach maturity 7 to 12 days before the average first freeze date. This allows time for products to reach R6 or Physiological Maturity / Black Layer naturally. (This, in turn, generally produces the best yield, test weight and also allows for better dry down.) The rule of thumb I use is that for every one day increase in relative maturity you need to increase the Growing Degree Day or Unit (GDU) by 20-25 GDU to reach maturity. Conversely, in my experience, grain moisture will increase at harvest 0.2 - 0.5 percent for every one day increase in relative maturity.

A common recommendation of mine to growers is to plant an early day or their normal relative maturing hybrid in their first field, followed by their late maturing hybrids and then the rest of their hybrids. In this way, all of their hybrids would not be pollinating at the same time. If you plant all of your later day relative maturity first, followed by your normal relative maturity and then your early day maturity, odds are they will all pollinate at the same time, which increases your risk of inclement weather at pollination. The other aspect of this is that by planting an early relative maturity first on a field or two you are also allowing for greater harvest flexibility and or capturing a grain marketing opportunity.

If you have question regarding what hybrids or maturity range is best for your operation, please contact your local Dairyland Seed Dealer, District Sales Manager or Agronomist to help with these needs.



Don’t miss out on our Early Pay Discount!  The next deadline is November 15, 2019. Contact your local sales rep or the Dairyland Seed Financial Services Department for more information.


Brian Weller
Western Region
Dan Ritter
Central Region
Branden Furseth
Northern Region
Rod King
Eastern Region
Terry Jones
Eastern Region

enjoying our Agronomy Updates?  suggestions for topics you'd like us to weigh in on?  Drop us an email at  We'd love to hear from you!
Find Your Rep