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Ponded Soybeans May or May Not Recover

Ponded Soybeans May or May Not Recover
Here are the factors that affect outcome for soybeans in saturated soils.

Storms that blew through Indiana last week also left flooding in parts of the state – wind and hail damage, too, in some cases. It continues to be a stormy, challenging season, even though some fields still look good.

If you have ponded soybeans, here's some information that may help you decide what to expect from those areas during the rest of the growing season.

Mycogen Seeds has posted information on their Website which deals with flooded soybeans. The first step, specialists note, is to assess the damage after a few days. Soybeans where only the roots were exposed to saturated soils will not be affected as badly as areas of fields where plants were under water.

How much damage flooding does to soybeans may depend upon how long they are under water and what the temperature is during the period. Cool temperatures reduce damage.

Related: Wet Spot Damage Goes Farther than You Think

You actually want cool temperatures following flooding to give soybeans a better chance to survive, Mycogen officials say. Fortunately, once the storms passed through last week, a cool front moved in behind the storms.

Cooler weather slows down the rate of respiration in the plants, which helps them conserve oxygen. If it's warm to hot and the plants run out of oxygen, they will likely begin to rot.

Soil type can play a role in whether or not soybeans recover after flooding or standing in saturated soils, and to what extent. Clay loams tend to dry out more slowly, with depressional areas that tend to hold water being the slowest to dry out. Silt loam soils should dry out more quickly, reducing the chances for serious long-term damage.

Related: Once-Ponded Plants Still Alive One Week Later

Replanting is no longer an option in much of the state once soils dry out because of the calendar. The newly planted crop would face frost problems at the end of the season.

Soybeans that do survive will likely be more prone to diseases, especially root diseases. Plan intensive scouting in those fields during the rest of the year, Mycogen specialists conclude.

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