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Long fall needed to maximize soybean yields

By Matt Reese

The extended wet conditions through much of the state this spring resulted in soybean planting dates ranging from timely to double-crop. The wide variation in planting dates has resulted in an Ohio soybean crop heading into fall all across the board in terms of development and yield potential.

“The record-breaking rains of spring delayed planting across the Eastern Corn Belt to mark the slowest planting progress on record,” said Roy Ulrich, a technical agronomist for DEKALB Asgrow. “This delayed spring shortened our growing season and has delayed some of our normal management decisions later into the summer.”

Compounding the potential problems this year were challenges with insects in some fields.

“Stink bugs pierce through the pod wall to feed causing the bean inside to not develop or become shriveled and malformed reducing the number of beans per pod,” Ulrich said. “Bean leaf beetles are the other major insect of concern when it comes to pod feeding. The second generation of bean leaf beetles that will be present in soybean fields late in the vegetative stages and throughout pod fill will feed on leaves early and then will begin to feed on pods once soybeans begin to mature.”

Leaf diseases have also been an issue in some areas.

“It really depends on where you are at. We have some areas with decent pressure from frogeye and other leaf diseases and in other areas there is not much frogeye to be found. In the areas where we have some frogeye, Asgrow AG38X8 Brand is our benchmark for tolerance in the Asgrow bag. Even in the areas with heavy pressure, it holds up really well,” Ulrich said. “A product like that in most cases this year did not need to be sprayed.”

Despite the challenges this season, there is still potential for a successful 2019 for Ohio soybeans.

“It was a tough start and we have had some stress in some areas. Dry soils, though, helped get root systems established and the beans really took off when they got some rains. I think we have a chance to put up some respectable numbers even though we got a late start,” Ulrich said. “Most of the late-planted beans at least had the moisture there to get off to a good start compared to the dry conditions you often see when planting double-crop beans. We’ve just got to get a long fall here. Some of these beans have a long way to go before we get them in the bin. Soybeans are photoperiod dependent and the heat unit accumulation is not as important as it is for corn. As we get later and days get shorter, we still need those beans to fill out. We don’t fully know what impact it will have until we get to harvest.

“We do have some products that look really strong in the field right now, though. Asgrow AG38X8, AG36X6, AG33X8, and AG30X8 Brands are products that all look to have pretty good yield potential this fall. The varieties that perform well this year are probably beans that are going to hang around for a while. A bean that does well in 2019 will probably be a bean that does well in a lot of years.”

This article was contributed by Ohio’s Country Journal for Asgrow.

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