What to Look for in Your Soybean Fields

June 15, 2010 07:00 PM

Sara Schafer, AgWeb Crops Online Editor
The rain keeps falling on the soybean planting and growing parade.

Allen Motew, QT meteorologist, reports that Midwest floods are expanding on a daily basis as rain events have become excessively heavy and frequent from the Canadian Prairie to Oklahoma and Minnesota to Indiana.
"Saturated ground, more heavy rain on the way and widespread river flooding from Canada to Oklahoma and Minnesota to Indiana is not a good combination. "
If you're one of the farmers who has had constantly saturated soils, here's some advice and insight to see your soybeans through to harvest.
Bill Wiebold, University of Missouri soybean state Extension specialist, says in Missouri the soybean crop is a mixed bag.
"We have lots of small soybeans in terms of size,” he says. "They soybeans are young, water-logged and struggling. But, it is still too early to see if there's permanent damage.”
Get to Your Fields
Now is the time to be scouting your fields, he says. "Farmers need to be scouting any place in their fields that have slight depressions where water collects.”
In these areas, soil is likely to erode, seed wash away or plants be covered in soil deposits. By assessing these, you can determine the health of your stand.
If the stand is just weak or sparse and not completely dead, Weibold says there is still hope for good yields. "Soybeans have a remarkable ability to compensate for poor stands.”
Wiebold says it is getting late for replanting, but if a field has a large dead area, they should consider the option.
The water-collecting areas in your fields are also prone for diseases, so be sure to look for any disease symptoms while scouting. "I haven't heard of or seen a lot of diseases yet, but the potential is there,” Wiebold says.
The continual wet, muggy weather of late is ideal for weed production. So, Wiebold suggests checking on your herbicide program, as some of the herbicide's impact may have been lessened.
Current Crop Progress
Soybean planting across the U.S. is nearing the finish line, with 91 percentage points complete, according to the latest USDA Crop Progress report. Soybean emergence is also on schedule with 80 percentage points emerged.
Currently the soybean crop is also looking pretty good with 58 percent of the crop rated good and 15 percent excellent. (See all USDA Crop Progress, Condition Ratings.)  
For More Information

You can e-mail Sara Schafer at sschafer@farmjournal.com.

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