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Posted 29 September 2015. PMN Crop News.

Rough Start, Strong Finish?

Better weather late in growing season could salvage soybean yields, researchers say

Source: United Soybean Board Press Release.

Chesterfield, Missouri (September 8, 2015)--For many farmers across the middle of the U.S. soybean belt, planting took much longer than normal due to excessive rain in the spring. In Missouri, for instance, soybean planting dates across that state varied from early April to mid-July, a span of more than three months.


As a result, harvest in those same locations will likely require many more days than normal to complete.

A significant number of acres are at risk from frost damage if fall turns cool and produces an earlier-than-normal freeze. This could lead to difficult harvest and green beans, which are often docked at the point of sale.

Despite the abundant moisture early in the season, all is not lost, according to Kansas State University Professor of Cropping Systems Ignacio Ciampitti, Ph.D. “Yields will likely depend on the weather conditions during August and September,” he says.

Ciampitti says many late-planted soybeans in Kansas have struggled to catch up. But while he expects harvest to be delayed, yield and quality are still up for grabs.

“For sure, harvest will be delayed in those areas with late planting, which is affecting yield potential,” Ciampitti adds. “Quality could get compromised if the duration of the grain-filling period is shortened by a stress like heat, drought or an early freeze.”

Bob Garino, U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Agricultural Statistics Service state statistician for Missouri, says more than a million acres intended for soybeans didn’t get planted in the state, making it the hardest hit. Nationwide, as of Aug. 3, more than 2.1 million acres of soybean ground faced prevented planting.

Because soybean yields can still be dramatically impacted by conditions in August and September, farmers who battled tough conditions early on can still hold out hope for a fast finish.

“Soybeans are a pretty resilient crop,” Garino says. “If we have good conditions until harvest and we don’t get an early frost, it may not be as bad as it seems now. But, no matter what, we’ll have reduced acres for harvest and probably a below-average yield.”