Variable soybeans in 2020

By Matt Reese

There is always variability from soil type to soil type, but this year it seems to be more pronounced.

“I think one of the words that is going to ring true this year is ‘variation.’ There is variation not only across the field but there is wide variation across the entire geography I cover in the southwest half of Ohio,” said Roy Ulrich, technical agronomist for DEKALBAsgrow. “We’ve got areas that caught timely rains and there are going to be some good yields. We also have areas that unfortunately did not catch those rains and they will be looking at depressed yields coming into harvest. There will be areas in some fields with higher moisture holding capacity that are going to yield considerably better than some of our droughtier soils. We have gone through a wide range of stress environments this summer, most driven by moisture or the lack thereof.”

Along with rain, the high temperatures of 2020 likely had impacts as well.

“Early on those high temperature reduced some early growth on soybeans and that actually set us up for a pretty decent year in some areas. We didn’t get all that vegetative growth and are not seeing many tall, lanky soybeans,” Ulrich said. “But as we got into pod fill, the heat and stress were not needed. Pulling back the canopy you can see we lost quite a few pods with the heat we had in August.”

With the conditions in 2020, disease levels are generally low, but also variable.

“The diseases are kind of spotty. Frogeye definitely has not been as big of an issue in the state as it has been the last several years. The dry weather has driven most of the diseases to a lower level overall,” Ulrich said. “We are starting to see some sudden death syndrome and some brown stem rot.”

Waterhemp is a growing concern in many fields as well and solid weed control in 2020 will show up on yield monitors this fall.

There are fields around the state that definitely had some late weed flushes,” Ulrich said. “Overall, I think we’re looking at an average crop or a little bit better for the vast majority of fields, but there are some areas that are hurting. The variation is really wide, even in the same township.”

Pending regulatory approval, Asgrow brand XtendFlex soybeans will be introduced in 2021, giving farmers additional flexibility to help manage tough-to-control weeds. 

Visit or contact a local DEKALB Asgrow dealer for more.

This article was contributed by Ohio Country Journal for Asgrow.

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