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Soybeans appear above average at mid-season
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- With most of Mississippi's soybean crop in bloom, it's time for farmers to think about making late-season management decisions.
Alan Blaine, soybean specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said growers need to check to see if fields need late-season insecticide or fungicide applications.
"The thing I want to caution growers about is that every field is not alike, every farm is not alike and every field is not at the same maturity stage," Blaine said. "This is not a whole farm approach. This should be a field-by-field decision."
Blaine said the state's soybeans are at widely varying levels of maturity. Some plants are fully podded and others just being planted behind the Mississippi River flood waters, as is typical on certain acreage.
"As a whole, I think the crop is above average, but we have a long way to go. We're only about halfway through the season," Blaine said.
State soybean acreage is estimated at 1.5 million acres this year, mainly due to a reduction in cotton. Blaine said soybeans and cotton have traded acreage the last few years, with soybeans acreage this year being closer to traditional numbers. Prices are still very poor, but rallied slightly in early July.
Stinkbugs are expected to become a problem in fields, and farmers are scouting now so they can time insecticide applications efficiently.
"The crop is most vulnerable to stinkbugs from bloom to mid pod fill. The threshold is one stinkbug for three feet of row during that time," Blaine said. "As the crop gets older, it can tolerate more pressure, and the threshold becomes one stinkbug per one foot of row."
Disease has not yet been a problem for the crop.
"We're having some concerns where we get a rain after a field has been irrigated. These problems are worst where we waited too long to irrigate or in fields with drainage problems," Blaine said.
Guy Wilson, Washington County Extension agronomic agent, said excess water on fields from rain after irrigation has caused the only real problems he's seen so far. The county has 136,000 acres of soybeans, up about 20,000 from last year.
"The water doesn't have anywhere to go after the field has been irrigated, and the beans are yellowing up. They'll change back in a week to a week and a half," Wilson said. "It won't hurt the beans unless the water stands on them for a period of time."
Because of recent rains, Wilson said he is encouraging growers to be on the lookout for diseases such as web blight and frog-eye leaf spot caused by hot, humid conditions.