LSU AgCenter scientists say good moisture and light pest pressure could make this year's soybean crop a record-breaker.
AgCenter soybean specialist Ron Levy told The News-Star he has been surprised that excess rainfall has not ruined many soybean fields in Louisiana.
Some soybean fields in Avoyelles Parish suffered from scalding after heavy rainfall there, and some soybean plants have fallen over because of stormy weather in central and north Louisiana, Levy said.
Some of the early soybeans in north Louisiana have yielded 60-80 bushels an acre, while yields from bean crops grown on sugarcane ground in the south have ranged 50-90 bushels per acre, he said. Average statewide yield in 2013 was nearly 49 bushels per acre, according to the AgCenter 2013 Ag Summary.
Levy said insecticide seed treatments have worked well against insect pests and disease pressure has been light.
As the rest of the soybean crop nears maturity, ripeners can be used as soon as the seed membranes separate from the seedpod, he said. But he reminded farmers that most harvest aids, such as paraquat, require up to 15 days before harvesting.
AgCenter entomologist Jeff Davis said soybean loopers have been found, but spraying them will also kill natural predators so spraying is not recommended.
Davis said redbanded stinkbugs have not been a major problem this year.