Some Indiana soybean fields have been harvested, but the widespread harvest is likely a week or two away, according to Purdue Extension soybean specialist Shaun Casteel. He was part of the proceedings Thursday at the annual crops field day at the Agronomy Center for Research and Education northwest of the main campus.
Casteel told HAT the recent late season heat might be a drag on yields.
“When we have the 90-95-degree days, you go day after day and within a 24-hour period those fields are turning very fast,” he said. “I was in fields all day Wednesday and in fields Thursday and leaves are turning over. So, if they’re anything close to lower nitrogen content leaves are going to start dropping off. Probably the way you look at this is some of the icing on the cake is probably going to be taken off on a lot of this. We’re going to be shorting our seed fill window and a little bit on the seed fill rate. So, if anything, the time that we’re in seed fill is going to get shortened with some of these hotter temperatures.”
Casteel said be prepared to get into the fields and cut beans when they’re ready. That will be earlier than normal this season.
“We’ve been 10-14 days ahead of schedule with most everything across this season. Leaves are dropping in a lot of fields. I saw my first field get cut Wednesday. Be ready to get out there. It’s going to be mid-September to September 20th on a lot of these fields, and if they’re good to go let’s get them because I hate losing out on yield whenever we go cut beans that are 10 percent moisture. So, even if they’re green stems, be ready to go out there if the grain’s ready.”
He confirmed 2018 has been a very good year for soybeans from planting until now, but in recent weeks some intense and saturating rains have compromised some root systems. Affected plants are shutting down because of the nitrogen content due to nodulation and fixation issues. Other than those pockets around the state, farmers’ soybean fields are set up for pretty good yields, Casteel says.