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Green Stems Make Combining Difficult

Green Stems Make Combining Difficult
Spots in field retaining leaves with green stems challenge combines.

Soybeans were moving out of the field quickly last week, but a few spots in several fields hung onto leaves. Many times the stems were tough also. The result was that the beans were hard to thresh.

"The soybeans were dry, but the stems were still green," says David Phegley, Merom. "The field where I had a few problems was irrigated. The higher spots in the field where there wasn't as much organic matter had the greener stems."

GREEN STEMS - The soybeans were dry but green plants and stems were hard to combine.

Many of his fields are either sandy or have gravel underneath. He farms only a few miles from the Wabash River. The outwash plains with sandy or gravelly soils extends out a long ways from the flood plain along the river before soils return to more traditional uplands with more silt and clay content.

Phegley was happy with the yields, just not with the spots where stems were green. Even with a modern combine, it was still necessary to do some maintenance now and then where green material would block up flow through the machine.

Other people have reported dealing with green stems as well. One farmer said that the plants just died on gravelly ground and still had leaves on them at harvest. They yielded surprisingly well considering, but would have yielded much better with another inch or two of rain in August.

The only weeds in many fields we have been in are in spots that were drowned out last spring or early summer in heavy rain deluges. The areas where beans were wiped out turned into weed patches in many cases. Within the fields however, there are many clean fields. Marestail is still a problem in some areas of the state. One thing you can do if marestail is a problem is to apply herbicides this fall, weed specialists suggest. That will produce clean fields next spring.

You can add bushels to your soybean yield with our new free report Boost Your Soybean Yield. Click the link, download the report and start thinking about 2014.

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