All the talk lately has been about corn; corn in the Midwest drying up, corn in the Carolinas coming in like gang busters. With all the focus on corn, soybeans have been overlooked a little, and Jim Dunphy, NC State Extension soybean specialist says there’s a really good crop in the ground this year:
“The soybean crop looks pretty good right now, here in the middle of August. We’ve had better weather on the soybean crop that comes a little later in the season than the corn crop does, but even where we have had some weather stress, the soybeans seem to have tolerated it.”
Dunphy explains that a phenomenon has happened in Carolina soybean production this year, soybean futures are pushing more seed in the ground later and later:
“Our farmers have been tempted to plant later in the season. If they have a field that becomes available in July, they would typically have left that field idle until it was time to plant wheat. This year in many cases they went ahead and put a bean crop in. The price has been high enough that even a mediocre crop looks pretty good. This high price on beans has caused farmers to rethink what is economical and what is not. There is a lot of conversation about the prospects of these crops at these prices, what is an acre of corn worth or an acre of beans.”
Regarding insect pressure, Dunphy explains that it’s been an unusual year:
"We are dealing with more types of insects than what we typically do. We aren’t seeing insects that we haven’t seen before, but we typically don’t have this many at one time. It complicates our decision on what to spray with. Usually it is one type of insect we are dealing with but now its become four or five.”
And the dreaded kudzu bug?:
“Kudzu bug is getting the most interest. A lot of the fields that have kudzu bugs in them are still below threshold, which means there aren’t enough insects in there to get worried about it. So we haven’t spent a lot of money spraying for kudzu bugs.”
And disease issues have been almost non-existent according to Dunphy:
“We have had more dry weather than wet, and we typically have more disease problems in the wet years. I haven’t gotten a lot of calls or seen a lot of problems with diseases this year. The disease lab, where samples are sent in for diagnosis, has been pretty quiet.”
NC State Extension soybean specialist Dr. Jim Dunphy.
And that’s Today’s Topic from Southern Farm Network. Find more topics, including our series on Celebrating Carolina Women in Agriculture, on our home page.