Many fields of soybeans are actively growing and there is some general information one needs to become familiar with what the plant is going through at this time.

Many fields I have checked are in the V2 growth stage. What does this mean? V2 is identified by first inspecting for the presence of the cotyledons (those are the thick leaves that came up first, lose one of those and that could be 2 percent of your final yield!

Then look at the first leaf that is called the unifoliate (this means single leaf). It is rounded and appears just above the cotyledons.

Next begin counting the number of trifoliate (three leaflets on one stem) leaves that have emerged above the unifoliate leaf. Each trifoliate is a V stage. So if one counts 2 trifoliates then the stage is V2.

Plants have two main stages V and R. The V stands for vegetative, that is to say the stage that the plant germinates, emerges and puts leaves on the main stem.

Then there’s the R stage which refers to the reproductive stage. This stage marks a change in the plant from simply growing green leaves to begin to prepare the metabolism and prepare to produce an ear or a pod.

In many cases both stages exist with soybeans as they will continue to put on new leaves while flowering. Typically they will stay in the V stages for about 40 days or more.

As of this writing many fields are at the V2 stage. Now you know what I am referring to pertaining to stages.