Hard to believe, but we are in the last 60 days of the growing season for soybeans across most of the Wheat Growers territory. There are some absolutely terrific looking soybeans out there, but there are also a lot of soybeans that had their struggles this year- from wet fields early and delayed planting to environmental stresses and weed control that seemed to be a constant uphill battle. Soybeans are now in the mid R-stages of development, and although it may be tempting to simply ride out the rest of the season with soybeans, careful management is still needed to assure maximum yield in this valuable crop. It is hard to justify more inputs late in the season, but these last inputs may be the defining difference between a good and great crop. Soybeans are just at their peak of development right now- plants are utilizing maximum nutrients peer day right now and filling seed pods throughout August.

Insect pests can and do keep rolling along throughout August. Grasshoppers, bean leaf beetles, soybean aphids and even two-spotted spider mites may be pests that require attention. Grasshopper damage has perhaps been the most common “bug” issue this season, but keeping an eye on all of the others is critical as well. Remember that grasshopper damage can be two-fold- defoliation and pod clipping. Be sure to visit with your local Wheat Growers agronomist about insecticide/miticide choices if treatments become necessary, as product choice is critical in getting effective control.

Diseases can also affect soybeans. Minor leaf diseases like Septoria Brown spot and bacterial blight are present in nearly every field and are usually not tremendously damaging. However, white mold, brown stem rot, Sudden Death Syndrome (in certain areas) and late season Phytophthora are appearing in fields. Look for dead and dying plants scattered throughout fields. Pull the plants and examine them closely. Split some stems and look for the color and texture of the pith of the plant. Visit with your local Wheat Growers Agronomist and also possibly consider sending in diseased plants to a qualified disease diagnostic lab to get proper identification of diseases affecting soybeans late in the season and then develop a management plant for these disease for the 2017 season.

Keep an eye on soybeans at this critical growth stage, and we can maximize the potential of every field.