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TLC for soybeans could mean big ROI for growers

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Big yields ahead for Hoosier soybean growers

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Instead of 2019 being the year that wasn’t for soybeans in Indiana, it still could be the year that is, given a little extra care.

Even with late planting, soybeans in Indiana still could produce some decent yields with the right management, said Glen Murphy, DEKALB Asgrow technical agronomist for southeastern Indiana and Kentucky.

“We know we are not going to have record yields. But what we can save and the value of those bushels, there is still a lot of opportunity out there,” Murphy said.

Late planting was the rule and not the exception for soybeans in Murphy’s territory. But growers have found success by sticking with full season soybeans.

“As you move south in Indiana, we’ve had more success planting the fuller season soybeans,” Murphy said.

He said early soybeans that are planted late tend to struggle with getting full canopy closure before they move into the reproductive phase.

“We’ve been able to trick that a little bit by going with fuller season beans, and that strategy has worked along the Ohio River pretty well,” he said.

With the shortened growing season and later planting, disease and pest questions come up, too. But soybeans have proven that they may be tougher than many believe.

“Soybeans have been pretty resilient, even with the late June and July planting dates. They are coming through it, and the seed treatments are helping us with uniformity,” Murphy said.

Don’t Give Up

Fungicide applications could save what yield and what dollars there are in a later and potentially smaller — and potentially more valuable — soybean crop.

“If you believe we are looking at short crops and that prices might improve as a result of that, that makes the strongest argument for why a farmer would want to use a fungicide,” Murphy said.

He said he is recommending regular scouting and is keeping growers aware of conditions that could be conducive to increased disease pressure or presence.

“We are scouting. We are sending out maps weekly, keeping an eye on frogeye leaf spot down this way, but seeing a lot of septoria. Those can change as you move north in Indiana,” he said.

One of the other challenges with the 2019 season has been evaluating new varieties. Murphy said in spite of the struggles, two new varieties are standing out so far.

“We are getting to a stage where Asgrow AG39X0 and AG43X0 brands look like they are going to be two very promising products for the southern end of the state. Those are brand new. We are only looking at those in plots this year,” he said.

However 2019 turns out for soybeans and for corn, Murphy is urging growers to keep records of what applications and management practices they used on this soybean crop and when.

“My challenge to them all has been — you’ve got the technology. Leave some check strips and then, in the middle of August, you should be out there looking to see what that investment did for your crop. They need to be out there to understand why that decision paid, or didn’t. The information is important either way,” he said.

This column was contributed by Indiana AgriNews for Asgrow.


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