For growers who planted beans much later than normal, there is hope for a reasonable crop.

The big question will be weather, especially extreme heat during the time soybeans bloom. Most varieties will shed blooms when daytime temperatures reach 90 degrees F and such conditions are common in August, when much of the late planted crop will be flowering.

For the past few years, across the Upper Southeast the expected yield drag from double-crop beans behind wheat has proven to be a yield boost. The atypical La Niña weather pattern produced cooler and wetter than normal August and September weather, which was conducive to increased soybean yields.

The delay in planting beans will give Asian Soybean Rust a chance to impact yields in the region.

The dreaded disease was detected in central Alabama in early July, and the neutral weather pattern in place is indicative of strong tropical storm activity, which could push disease causing spores northward in time to impact young soybeans.

There is one important difference between double-crop soybeans and beans that are planted late, but that don’t follow wheat harvest.

Wheat removes a substantial amount of water from the soil as it matures, and in years with average June rainfall, the soybean crop that follows wheat has much less soil water available to it than does the crop that follows only the crop from the previous year.

In most years in the Southeast this moisture stress creates a yield drag for double-crop soybeans, but with beans planted so late this year, the impact between late-planted and late-planted double-crop beans may not be significant.

However, if the tropical storm season doesn’t materialize, the region could be looking at extended heat and dry weather at the critical time for soybean development.

For certain, there is a big risk involved in planting soybeans in the Upper Southeast in July. However, how these late planted beans will end up is mostly unpredictable.

rroberson@farmpress.com

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