By Laura Lindsey, Ohio State University Extension soybean specialist
The extreme weather conditions this growing season are affecting soybean harvest. Soybean plants are shorter than normal resulting in pods that are closer to the ground. Additionally, some Ohio growers are also noticing soybean pod shattering during harvest.
Shattering is more likely to occur when pods are formed under drought conditions and re-wet later in the season. Short plants and shattering pods can increase harvest losses.
Four soybean seeds per square foot is approximately one bushel per acre yield loss. We found incidents of approximately 8 to 12 seeds per square foot (a 2 to 3 bushel per acre loss). Little can be done to prevent soybeans from shattering, but Iowa State University Extension offers some advice for harvesting shorter than normal soybeans at: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/CropNews/2012/0808hanna.htm .