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Indiana Soybeans and Corn in Need of Water


The Purdue Crop Chat Podcast features Purdue Extension soybean specialist Shaun Casteel and corn specialist Dan Quinn discussing current crop conditions around the state. We just sat down to record another podcast and it’s available now below.

Casteel says that growing up, it was always said that August is the month that makes or breaks soybeans. He says that’s changed a little bit.

“It’s mid-August to mid-September, that month, that 30-day period. This year, we definitely need those timely rains. You drive around, we have sand ridges that are drying up. Beans are just senescing, already dropping leaves, and that goes back to, I think, a compromised root system and then we start to dry out. Certainly, we had a period where we were dry but not excessive temperatures and so we were able to get through that. But now, last week when we turn dry and hot, that’s just a nasty combination whenever we’re looking at pod retention and seed fill. We’ll use a quarter inch or three tenths of an inch of water a day just in the crop alone. If we don’t have that, and we don’t have the root systems to access that soil profile, we’re going to get sold short.”

Timely rains will be important for corn as well. Quinn says this corn crop isn’t made just yet.

“I always tell folks to look at the last 30 days of a corn crop, so when it hits dent, that R5 growth stage until R6, which is black layer physiological maturity, that corn crop, looking at that kernel, still has about 50 percent of its kernel weight yet to go. So, if stress comes in, if it turns too dry, you can really hinder some of that kernel weight, and that’s an important yield component for corn.”

Much more with Quinn and Casteel in the Purdue Crop Chat Podcast below.