While Missouri grain and livestock growers have battled drought all season, Mother Nature finally started providing the state with much-needed rain. But at this point in the season it might be too late.
Between corn and soybeans, the latter crop is more likely to benefit from August rains—but it all depends on when they were planted. Soybean fields that pick up moisture in pods might benefit the most.
“Across the board it will definitely improve seed size, which is a key component of yield,” says Cody Cornelius, Mycogen commercial agronomist in northwest Missouri. “In some cases, we could even get a regrowth phase to get more pods. But for many beans, setting more pods is unlikely.”
Overall though, he says it’s hard to put a number on what kind of benefit farmers might see because it also depends on what kind of stress soybeans went through earlier in the season.
“There are some places where we’re worse than we were in 2012,” Cornelius says. “We’re still grateful for the rain, but it’ll probably benefit cattle guys more than crop guys, they’ll get pasture regrowth and possibly another cutting of hay.”
Corn likely won’t see any kind of boost and might even see net negatives from recent rain.
“It might just put more stress on it at this point,” Cornelius says. “I’m concerned about what is left for a stalk and overall integrity as we go into fall.”
Many fields in drought-stricken Missouri are firing, showing signs of nitrogen deficit, which pulls resources from the lower stalk and could lead to lodging. Rainfall adds the potential for greater disease pressure and any winds that come with storms could blow plants over.
“This year it’s even more important to get out there and scout,” he says. “I know it’s hard to want to go out and spend money drying corn, especially when you’re below your yield goal, but you want to save what you can.”
Farmers in certain areas of the state might find corn yields low enough to cash in on crop insurance claims. As for soybeans, Cornelius says yield might hold, which could mean minimal claims.
Read more related content:
Emergency Hay, Water Available for Livestock Farmers in Missouri
Crop Progress: Corn, Soybean Conditions Favor A Strong Finish
Drought Takes Toll on Missouri Crops, Cattle
Crop Tour: Illinois Corn Likely To Fall Short Of USDA Predictions
Looks Are Deceiving As Pro Farmer Crop Tour Moves Through Iowa
Rest of the Story: Yield Outlooks & Points to Ponder