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Soybean harvest won't be a bin-buster, farmers say

Article cover photo
Sixty-three percent of the Iowa soybean crop was rated good to excellent earlier this week, up 8 points from last week according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). (Photo: Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

By Bethany Baratta, ISA senior writer

Iowa soybean conditions improved slightly last week as this year’s crop heads toward harvest.

Sixty-three percent of the Iowa soybean crop was rated good to excellent earlier this week, up 8 points from last week, according to a report released Monday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

The report said 96 percent of the state’s soybean crop had started setting pods, 2 weeks behind average. Forty percent has begun coloring, 11 days behind last year and 8 days behind average, according to NASS.

Five percent of soybeans began dropping leaves, almost 2 weeks behind last year and 10 days behind average.

In its crop production report last week, the USDA pegged Iowa soybean production at 495 million bushels, down 7 million bushels from last month and down 71 million bushels from September 2018. The average Iowa yield is projected at 54 bushels per acre, a 1-bushel-per-acre decrease from last month.

Here's how this year’s soybean crop is shaping up:

Tim Bardole, Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) President, Rippey: “We’re in an area where yield potential is fantastic, but the potential has definitely been going down for the past 2 weeks or so. Getting into mid-September, the photoperiod is shorter, so the sun is telling soybeans they’re about done growing. On top of that, pod fill started later, so we are seeing many 2-bean pods instead of 3s and 4s. It will make a huge impact on our yield potential.”

Pat Swanson, ISA district 9 director, Ottumwa: “Our agronomist says the seed beans we grow for Pioneer are 3 weeks from harvest. We planted about 1 month later this year due to weather, and we think we will probably lose 15 to 20 percent of our yield potential. Last year we produced a record crop; this year we’ll be happy to make our 10-year average.”

Chuck White, ISA district 1 director, Spencer: “The soybeans are just starting to turn color. Pod fill has been very good, although I wish there were more pods. Soybeans planted in May, I think, will do excellent. It’s hard to determine what the yield will be for the soybeans planted in June.”

Contact Bethany Baratta at bbaratta@iasoybeans.com.

 

For media inquiries, please contact Katie James, ISA Public Relations Manager at kjames@iasoybeans.com or Aaron Putze, ISA Communications Director at aputze@iasoybeans.com

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