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From the Editor

RSS By: Brian Grete, Pro Farmer

Pro Farmer Editor Brian Grete takes time to talk with Pro Farmer Members about some of the key issues in each week's Pro Farmer newsletter.

Time to talk about the soybean crop.

Jul 19, 2013

Chip Flory

From The Editor

July 19, 2013

Hello Pro Farmer Members!

We spend a little more time talking about soybean crop conditions in this week's newsletter, and I'll hit it again here.

First, there are some good beans across the Corn Belt and the eastern Belt bean crop seems to be getting just the right amount of stress (a rain-free week with some hot temps) at the right time of the year. The stress should really kick in the reproductive phase of the bean crop in the ECB and if the crop gets a rain early next week, it'll be tough to hold that crop back this year.

Second, there are some good beans in the western Corn Belt, as well... but they're harder to find in the WCB than in the ECB. The most immature bean crop around the PF headquarters in Cedar Falls, Iowa, emerged just this week. It's a small field just south of Denver, IA, on Highway 63. The most mature bean field I've seen is just north of the Waterloo, Iowa, airport on a gravel road: 20-inch rowed beans that have almost filled the canopy. These beans aren't knee-high, but at least they're bushing out.

Yellow spots are also starting to show up on beans. I'm not good at identifying early-season bean diseases, but this sure looks like iron chlorosis to me.

And beans are blooming... even the beans that have a lot of bare dirt exposed between rows and are only standing about a foot tall. The length of day is already telling them they better get started on the reproductive phase.

Condition of the crop is exceptionally variable. At this time of the year, if beanfields are green, they should be considered to be in at least good condition IF they are developing on time. These beans aren't developing on time, so I've got to rate most of the bean crop west of a line that runs from Manchester, Iowa, down to Stanwood, Iowa, "fair" -- at best. There are some better beans in Iowa on the west coast of the state and in the southwestern crop district, as well.

We've been working with a national average soybean yield estimate of 42 bu. per acre for several weeks, based primarily on slow plantings. We're still using that estimate in our balance sheets and will stick with it until we know more about the crop after the Aug. 18-22 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour.

Another factor I've been trying to figure out this year is exactly where the Prevented Planted acres start in northeastern Iowa. I've been doing a fair amount of traveling in eastern Iowa the past few days, and I believe the farthest south Prevented Plant field I've seen is just west of Dunkerton, Iowa. There might be a few scattered fields south of that, but the Prevented Plant fields start to bunch up about 10 miles north of Highway 20. And as I understand it, the Prevented Plant intensifies moving north and west from Cedar Falls.

That's it for now...

... have a great weekend! If you've got County Fair this week, good luck to you all!

Follow me on Twitter at @ChipFlory

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