Dry summer hurts soybeans
Soybean harvest in the county has just begun and test weights have been decent, but yields could have been better if not for late summer drought.
“It’s good in places, and in places it’s not,” Laverne Bina said as he waited in line with his first load at Marion Cooperative Grain & Supply. “I have no idea what it’s going to make.”
Test weights at the elevator were about 58 pounds.
September rains helped the crop a little, but not as much as it could have, co-op manager John Ottensmeier said.
“The beans, they needed that rain around August,” he said.
Some of the crop is still maturing, Linconville’s Agri Trails co-op manager Perry Gutsch said.
“It’s a matter of drying it down and having the plants drop leaves,” he said. “We might pick up a little today, but it will be hard on the beans by the middle of the week.”
The soybeans he has seen so far are small with test weights of about 57 and 58, below a “good” yield.
“It’s supposed to be about 60 pounds, but I have not seen too many 60-pound loads of soybeans come in,” he said.
The county was blessed in July with rainfalls 3.22 inches above normal at 7.12. That blessing vanished with August rainfalls at 0.38, way below its average 4.12 inches.
September stayed dry with rains 1.19 inches below normal at 2.31.
The heat and lack of moisture left the plants vulnerable to damage from pests beetles and pod worms.
The crop’s condition was rated 10% poor, 33% fair, 43% good, and 10% excellent by the National Agricultural Statistical Service.
The agency forecast soybean production in Kansas at 231 million bushels, up 24% from last year. Kansas farmers planted a record 5.25 million acres into soybeans this year, it said.
Some area farmers were focusing on planting wheat this week and are waiting on their soybeans, Hillsboro’s Cooperative Grain Supply manager Nathan Fish said.
“We have a long ways to go yet,” he said, adding that maybe 15 to 20 percent of the crop had been harvested.
Test weights at the eleveator were “OK at 57 to 58½.”
Like Ottensmeier, he blamed the drought.
“One more good rain in August would have helped us a bunch,” he said.
However, some of the area’s early planted soybeans were further along when things dried up so they did better, county extension agent Rickey Roberts said.
“It’s not terrible, though, 58 is not terrible,” he said. “It’s not perfect, but it could be worse.”
Time will tell because soybeans, along with milo, are some of the last fall crops.
But farmers are not going to wait too long to get their soybeans in.
“Milo can wait around,” he said. “Beans shatter and you worry about that, milo can hang in there. Even if it turns into winter.”
Last modified Oct. 8, 2020