Rains from Isaac give soybeans a boost



PHOTO: Matt Barton, UK agricultural communications specialist
Lexington, Ky.

Remnants of Hurricane Isaac provided much needed moisture for most of the state’s soybean crop, said Chad Lee, grain crops specialist with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.

For most of the 2012 growing season, rainfall events have been few and far between. According to the Sept. 4 U.S. Drought Monitor, much of Western Kentucky remains in a severe to exceptional drought. The area received about 2 inches of rainfall from the remnants of Isaac the weekend of Sept. 1. Eastern and Central Kentucky received between 0.5 and 1 inch of rainfall from Isaac.

“The fact that the rains came over several days and were relatively gentle means that most soils captured most of the water,” Lee said. “That should help with seed fill and yields, but it’s probably too late to boost the number of seeds on the plants. The beans furthest from maturity will benefit the most. ”

According to the Sept. 4 Kentucky Weekly Crop and Weather Report, only 5 percent of the state’s soybean crop was mature and 22 percent was dropping leaves. That means the other 78 percent of the crop will likely see some benefit from the rainfall, Lee said. The report also listed 47 percent of the crop in very poor to poor condition and 49 percent in fair to good condition.

“These rains give us a chance of getting decent yields,” he said. “Soybean yields should be much closer to normal than corn yields.”

For soybeans close to full seed, this may be all the rain they need to reach maturity. Soybeans in earlier development stages will need at least one more rain to produce decent yields, Lee said.

Contact: 

Chad Lee, 859-257-3203

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