Expert says soybeans need consistent rains until harvest

An agronomist says soybeans have done okay considering the dry conditions, but the crop is going to need more rain from now until harvest. 

Shawn Conley with the University of Wisconsin Soybean Program tells Brownfield soybean stands look okay in early planted fields and, “We’ve been okay in terms of rainfall. You know, the soybean doesn’t need a ton of rain until about now, so for a roughly R-3, which should be next week forward, now is where we need that inch, inch-and-a-half of rain every week all the way through to the mid part of September to make the soybean crop.”

Conley says the dry early season has led to less plant growth, but there’s still potential for a good crop. “The beans are relatively short, they’re flowering, there’s not a ton of biomass out there, and it’s because that soybean plant has been expending a lot of energy to put that tap root down.”

Conley says he’s hearing from farmers that want to spray now for white mold but, “I’d probably hold off for another week to ten days until at least that soybean gets canopied and we’re closer to R-3 soybean. I think if you’re out there spraying now, it’s a little too early and you’re going to waste your product.” He says for most fields, spraying now would put more on the ground than on the plant leaves where it’s needed.

Conley says the recent scattered rains will help the crop, but it will also jump-start weeds like Palmer amaranth, so farmers will have to be ready for additional weed pressure.

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