Soybean Production 2022, the year in review

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean check-off.

Dr. Laura Lindsey serves as the OSU Extension State Soybean and Small Grain Specialist.  When she looks back over the growing season, her mind goes back to the spring of 2019. “We have had some rough springs in the past, such as 2019. This spring was pretty good as far as planting the soybean performance trial sites around the state. There was a nice window in the middle of May for planting, and then there was a wet period, and we were pushed back into the first part of June,” said Lindsey.

While some of the research Dr. Lindsey conducts looks at planting date, this is not the case with the soybean performance trials. “With our variety testing program, we don’t push the planting date too early since it is not possible to replant them,” said Lindsey. “We do have some research that looks at ultra-early planting (end of March and early April). This year in Clark County we planted soybeans March 30th, and those yielded around 70 bushels per acre.  Interestingly the end of March beans yielded similar to beans planted at the end of April.”

Much of the state had favorable weather conditions this year, however there were areas that had early issues with too much water, and later in the season, areas impacted by drought. “We had a site in Union County that had dry weather in August, and the yields there only averaged 33-40 bushels per acre, so that dry weather had an impact at that location,” said Lindsey.

From a disease and insect pressure standpoint, Dr. Lindsey had some graduate students conducting research around the state and noticed some issues. “I had a graduate student evaluating for Bean Leaf Beetle and Stink Bugs. Those fields sprayed with insecticide did not show a significant benefit from the application in the early results analyzed. There is still more data to process. That may indicate that the pressure from insects in those fields was not significant enough to impact yields,” said Lindsey. “I have another student conducting disease evaluations at several locations. He found Frog Eye Leaf Spot at some locations in the northern part of Ohio. This was interesting because Frog Eye is typically found in central to southern Ohio. He ran a fungicide trial and did not see any yield response in it yet. We observed the disease, but it was not limiting yield. Keeping an eye out for Frog Eye Leaf Spot for all growers around the state is a good idea moving forward.”

Soybean performance trials are planted in three regions across the state every year. “Henry and Sandusky counites make up the northern region. In central Ohio, Mercer and Union Counties have trials, and Preble and Clinton Counties are our southern regions,” said Lindsey. “This year the yields were across the board. Henry County was the real winner with the average soybean yields at 91-94 bushels per acre. We had 8 soybean varieties yield over 100 bushels per acre at that site.  These are the highest yields we have ever seen, and my technician has been doing this for over 20 years. The weather data showed a steady rainfall at the Henry County field location all year with 8+ inches falling during the month of August.”

“Union County which suffered from the drought was the lowest average yield. It was in the Central Region. The Mercer County site in that region averaged 79-81 bushels per acer. Preble county in the south region averaged 67 bushels per acre which is good, but for that specific location may be a little lower than we are used to seeing. Clinton County in the southern region averaged 67-77 bushels per acre average. Sandusky County in the north averaged 80 bushels per acre,” said Lindsey.

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