From wet weather to frost and freezing temperatures, this year continues to cause challenges for Four State crop producers.
“I think harvest is slower than usual because of the wet weather,” said Jill Scheidt, University of Missouri Extension agronomy field specialist for Barton, Dade, Jasper, McDonald and Newton counties. “I also think the humid, cloudy days have made corn not dry down as fast, too. We’ll be drying down in the bin a lot.”
Pat Miller, MU Extension agronomy field specialist based in Vernon County, said corn harvest was getting finished up last week.
Scheidt continued, “Yields vary really depending on when people were able to plant and if they sprayed a fungicide to protect against all the foliage disease. I think the biggest yield-robbing disease in corn this year was Southern rust.
“Southern rust usually comes too late in the growth stage of corn to cause problems, but since we had late planted corn, it did some damage.”
Scheidt said the late planted soybeans probably have contributed to her lack of spotting podworms in the crop though she has seen a lot of diseases but she hasn’t seen anything too alarming.
However, Miller stated the weekend frost has caused concern amongst producers for soybeans.
On Saturday, Doug Shoup, a farmer and agronomy consultant in east central Kansas, said on Twitter that he saw heavy frost in the late-planted soybean canopy and the weather dropped 4 degrees colder than projected over the weekend.
“There will be a lot of acres in this part of the world affected by this freeze,” he wrote.
According to the publication “Frost Damage to Corn and Soybeans” by Iowa State University Extension, frost-damaged soybeans are green or elongated yellow and shrink to smaller than normal size after drying. Also, the extractable oil content will be reduced below 16 percent and the oil will be of poor quality. Moisture levels will be higher than indicated by moisture meters by 1 to 2 percent and fields will be slower to dry down.
“Oil from immature beans often contains high levels of free fatty acids, which are causes of rancidity,” the publication stated.
The publication also pointed out the deceptively wet quality of immature soybeans often results in condition problems. Field drydown should be allowed if at all possible.
Storage and handling recommendations for frost-damaged soybeans include cleaning beans before storage — allowing the removal of wet weed seeds and plant parts — and two to four weeks of steady aeration to reduce moisture levels and “cause greenness to partially subside.” Stored soybeans should be checked often to monitor their condition. If you choose to artificially dry soybeans, use a temperature of less than 130 degrees Fahrenheit.