Soybeans and wheat pleasant surprises in 2012

By Matt Reese

In the wild growing season of 2012, soybeans fared much better than corn in the challenging conditions thanks to some last minute rains, said Laura Lindsey, Ohio State University soybean specialist.

“Soybeans are more flexible than corn because they set pods for a longer period of time. Soybean yields were affected, but not as much as what people expected,” Lindsey said. “I have been hearing very good yield stories out there, but maybe the people with the bad stories aren’t tell me. I have talked with several farmers hitting 85-bushel yields on their farm. I have heard about a lot of very good yields out there but there were some really bad areas, especially in northwest Ohio. There were beans that were mid-calf high in mid-July. You could see drought stress in our fields but it was not as sustained in the states to the west.

“Most of the benefit was the late season rain. When you get late season rains, the seeds will plump up and that really helped the yields. There was a yield benefit because of the late rains, but earlier rains would have led to yields that were a lot better.”

Other problems chipped away at yields in many fields.

“Spider mites were the biggest insect problem I heard about this year. Depending on when the problem occurred, you maybe didn’t need to spray. I did hear about problems with charcoal rot in the southern part of the state as well,” she said. “And, last year’s harvest was really wet and we did see some compaction issues this year. We found seeds that had imbibed and then they never germinated because the soil was so compacted.”

The wheat crop was a bright spot on many farms in 2012.

“We had yields in the high 90s and over 100 bushels in several of our test locations for wheat,” Lindsey said. “There was a lot of interest in planting wheat because of those yields. There was wheat planted this fall, but the weather and the later than expected harvest may have reduced the wheat acreage. Still, we do have some significant wheat acres in.”

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