Wisconsin growers expecting fewer, smaller soybeans

A soybean expert is expecting Wisconsin farmers to see fewer soybeans, smaller soybeans, and less income from the crop this fall.

Shawn Conley with the University of Wisconsin Soybean Program tells Brownfield the late-season rain was too little at the wrong time. “I think we were probably one rainfall event from making this a trend year, so I think, just based on what I’ve seen and what I’ve been hearing, statewide, we’re going to be a little bit below trend in terms of yield.”

And Conley says lack of timely rain is affecting soybean seed size. “I thnk our seed size is going to be pretty small. Remember a couple of years ago, we had record seed size where we were probably 10-12 percent larger than all of the “I” states around us, which gave us that record crop. I wouldn’t be surprised if our seed size is 10-12 percent smaller this year.”

Conley says the condition of the soybeans will likely cause more pod shattering and force farmers to drive combines slower. “Farmers are going to have to think about how they’re running that reel, getting off that combine. I know we’re all in a hurry and I know how farmers operate, but you need to get off that combine and check just to see what that harvest loss might be in a year like this because if you remember, every four seeds per square foot equates to about a bushel in yield loss.”

Conley says farmers might want to consider harvesting soybeans right away in the morning to preserve moisture and moving on to another crop like high-moisture corn in the afternoon if they’re equipped to do so.

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