Weekend rains could help and hurt struggling crops

By Matt Reese

With the chance of hurricane inspired rains moving their way into Ohio this weekend, many producers are interested in how the weather could impact their stressed crop fields.

Soybeans could still benefit from the rains.

“On average, there are 2,500 to 3,000 individual soybean seeds per pound. Soybean seeds produced during drought

Matt Hutcheson, with Seed Consultants, Inc, does yield counts on test plot corn near Washington Courthouse. The ears and yields are impressive in the SCI plots, but there are weak shanks and stalks.

conditions tend to be smaller compared to seeds produced under normal conditions. Small seed size reduces yield,” said Laura Lindsey, OSU’s Extension soybean specialist in a recent CORN Newsletter. “The influence of late-season rainfall on yield depends on soybean growth stage. If soybeans are at the R5 or R6 growth stage (seed filling), August rainfall will increase soybean size. However, if soybeans are at the R7 growth stage (one normal pod on the main stem has reached its mature pod color), rainfall (or lack of rainfall) will have little influence on soybean yield.”

The rains could be very beneficial for the soybeans, but any accompanying winds and downpours could cause significant problems.

“The rain this weekend could still help fill out a lot of these beans. We could easily still add 5 or 6 bushels to the acre with a nice rain,” said Mike Earley, Seed Consultants, Inc. director of replicated services. “A light shower could be good for everything, but we do not need a lot of wind or a pouring rain on this corn. Stalk quality is a major issue because of the drought this year and the ear shanks are just not big enough or strong enough to hold the ear.”

The tough growing season has weakened corn plants that put everything into the development of an ear and growers need to avoid harvest delays. When corn moisture hits 24% or 25%, Seed Consultants agronomists are recommending a prompt harvest.

“We need to get out there and get the crop harvested as early as possible. Just walking through corn fields, if I brush an ear it might fall to the ground,” Earley said. “I would not recommend leaving it out there to dry. You’re better off spending the money to dry it than leaving a lot of ears to fall on the ground.”


Seed Consultants General Manager Chris Jeffries talks with Ty Higgins about what his customers can expect at their field days this year.

Chris Jeffries WEB

Director of Agronomic Services for Seed Consultants, Bill Mullen, talks about the quality of this year’s seed production.

Bill Mullen WEB2

SCI’s Director of Replicated Testing is Mike Earley urges producers to get into the field sooner than later.

Mike Early WEB

James Jacobs is an agronomist with Seed Consultants and he and Ty chat about seed corn and if there will be enough for 2013.

James Jacobs WEB

Seed Consultants Director of Genetics and Technology Dave Nanda says some things can be learned after a challenging growing season like 2012.

Dave Nanda WEB

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