While soybean yields are outstanding this year, green stem syndrome is causing some serious issues for growers during harvest. For many Indiana soybean growers, this harvest has been a challenge. A large amount of green plant matter is making combining slow and difficult. Rod King, agronomist with Brodbeck Seeds, says green stem is a symptom that does not show up often but, when it does, it is a problem. “I think there is a genetic bias on some varieties that manifests itself during certain environmental conditions,” he stated. “In other words, some varieties are prone to green stem and then, when we get the right weather conditions, those varieties have it worse than others.” He said this year many different varieties from many different companies are having green stem issues.
King said it was the right combination of weather conditions this year that caused the plants to start to grow again after they were mature, “There are some diseases that can cause green stem, but this year I feel it was the weather that provided the right conditions.” While it is not impacting yields, it is making harvesting fields full of green plant growth difficult.
King told HAT there is not a lot one can do to prevent or predict when green stem will occur, and that next year’s variety selection should not be influenced by the green stem outbreak, “I really urge growers to look at data over a 2 or 3 year time frame. If a variety is performing well, you should not toss it because one year you had a problem with green stem.”