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Corn, soybeans need several more weeks of moisture and sunshine to reach full potential

Kyle Stackhouse 2

August 23, 2019

2 Min Read
soybean field
Kyle Stackhouse

Usually this time of year the corn crop is ‘made’ and the soybeans just need another rain or two. As I’ve wrote all year, it’s not the case for 2019. Some cornfields are still in full pollination or early blister stages. Those fields will need another month of moisture to fill out the ears. Then they will need a month beyond that with no frost to make it to black layer.

Soybeans are nearing the end of setting pods. Depending on maturity, they may or may not bloom again when conditions are favorable. Rain last week triggered even the earliest beans we planted to bloom. The shorter season beans bloomed a lot less than longer season varieties. This might be the first time in a while our early beans are not the best beans. All the beans will need several more weeks of moisture and sunshine to reach their full potential this year.

We did pull the trigger and did plant health treatment on several soybean fields this week. The treatment mainly focused on irrigated fields between R3 and R4.5. We have seen a little frog eye leaf spot, and foggy/heavy dew mornings are conducive to more fungal disease. We are always short in manganese. We have to make applications multiple times through the growing season. Our mix consisted of fungicide, insecticide and plant food. I did the math the other day. If we make the soybean plant happy and it fixes just a few pods on those new blooms, that could easily sway yield 5-10 bushels and be a major factor in this year’s profitability.

I mentioned we got some rain. It continues to be very spotty. We received about 2” over the last 8-10 days. If you go 3 miles north or 3 miles south, the total was about half of that. The prospect of irrigating is only a couple days off. We were fortunate to miss the extreme weather that hit near Kalamazoo, Michigan, which brought enough hail to make it look like winter. Crops were destroyed. I really feel for those farmers.

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress. 

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