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Not every issue in soybeans is a major problemNot every issue in soybeans is a major problem

Soybean Watch: Some minor diseases are worth noting but may not affect yield.

Tom J Bechman 1

October 26, 2017

3 Min Read
DON’T PANIC: Yes, these leaves might show signs of disease. But only a few leaves are affected, and the symptoms don’t indicate any major soybean diseases.

Steve Gauck was born to scout crops and figure out what to do if he finds something worth noting in the field. Why? Because he doesn’t panic. He notes what he finds and immediately identifies it. Then he decides if it’s worth acting on right away, worth watching over the next few weeks, or if it really doesn’t amount to anything. In a word, he doesn’t panic.

Gauck, a sales agronomist for Beck’s based in Greensburg, Ind., scouted the Soybean Watch ’17 field at two-week intervals all year long. Beck’s sponsors Soybean Watch ’17.

“Usually when I go to the field with another Beck’s person and a customer, we’re looking at a specific problem,” he relates. “This has been enjoyable because it has given me the chance just to walk into a field and see what I can see. There is usually a lot more going on out there than you might think at any one point in the season.”

Some of the things Gauck found in the Soybean Watch ’17 field, like slugs three weeks after planting, were critical issues. The only recourse would have been replanting. Planting had been delayed, so it was already late in the season. Gauck determined that 80,000 plants per acre were present, even in the spots impacted most by slugs. “That’s enough to reach full yield potential, so there really wasn’t anything we needed to do,” he says. The important thing, he adds, was knowing the slugs were there so he knew to check stand counts. Many people in various areas either replanted due to slugs or didn’t realize stands were thinned as much as they were until it was too late.

No big deal
Some things that Gauck found scouting the field didn’t turn out to be a big deal, both for this year’s crop and likely in the future.

“You can usually find disease symptoms, especially later in the season,” he says. “We saw some sudden death syndrome in my area in August, but then in most cases, it didn’t develop or turn out to be a big problem. It’s definitely one you need to watch. We didn’t see symptoms of it in the Soybean Watch ’17 field. It may have been timing. That field wasn’t planted until June 6 due to weather delays.”

Later on, Gauck did find a few leaves with various leaf blights. He also found some leaves that showed signs of the disease that causes purple seed stain. When he found a leaf affected by discoloration, he pulled out the Purdue Corn & Soybean Field Guide and identified the disease.

“We just didn’t find very much of any of those disease symptoms in the field,” he says. “Generally it was a leaf here and there. Maybe there was more of the disease causing purple seed stain than normal. Otherwise there really wasn’t enough of any disease to worry about. Disease shouldn’t be a factor in yield on these beans this year.

“We also didn’t find anything that would really impact future decisions. You always want to pick varieties with as much disease resistance to key diseases as possible anyway.”

About the Author(s)

Tom J Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer

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