What is in this article?:
- Kentucky bean yields lagging
- Marshall County
• Soybean harvest is in full swing in the Purchase Area of western Kentucky, several days ahead of the normal schedule.
•At this point, between 30 and 40 percent of the harvest is complete in the area. Most of the soybeans that have been harvested are early- to mid-maturing varieties.
• According to the Kentucky Weekly Crop and Weather Report, Mayfield is 6.27 inches below normal rainfall totals since April 1. Paducah is 5.88 inches below average during the same time frame.
Lincoln Martin, Marshall County Extension agent, said yields are averaging around 15 to 18 bushels per acre in his area. In 2009, county producers averaged 43.5 bushels per acre. Marshall County producers have also reported a significant amount of weeds, especially teaweed and copperleaf, in their fields.
"The weed problems may have been exacerbated by the drought," Martin said. "Due to the lack of rain, the soybeans didn't canopy as quickly, which allowed weeds to gain the advantage in some fields."
When there's a significant amount of weed pressure in fields, weeds and weed seeds can be picked up by the combine during harvest. If enough of this gets mixed in with the crop, it can cause dockages at the grain elevators, said Chad Lee, UK grain crops Extension specialist.
Some of the harvested soybeans are small. Lee said producers will need to adjust their combines to handle these seeds. Shriveled seeds and those with low test weights will likely result in a dockage at the grain elevator.
The agents hope yield averages will increase in later-maturing varieties and double-crop beans. The area had some significant rainfall a few weeks ago which may have helped. Some of these varieties may also benefit from being planted in river or creek bottoms, which tend to hold more moisture than upland areas.