Heat, Dryness Take Toll On Soybean Crop

Iowa Farm Scene

End of summer drought conditions have reduced Iowa's soybean yield potential, as well as corn.

Published on: September 9, 2013

In last week's blog we asked "Will Your Corn Beat the Frost?" This week we look at how Iowa's soybean crop is doing, especially the late planted beans. Wayne Fredericks is secretary of the Iowa Soybean Association, farming near Osage in northern Iowa, near the Minnesota border, about 30 miles east of Mason City. His area of the state has a lot of late-planted, late maturing beans this year. Many acres didn't even get planted, as spring was so wet. How do the late-planted crops look now?

Many of Iowa's "prevented planting" acres this year are in north-central and northeast Iowa

"We got hit with 13 inches of snow here in Mitchell County the first few days of May," says Fredericks. "Virtually no crop was planted in our area prior to that time. When we finally got into the field in mid-May we only had about three days where we could plant, and it was a bit wet. We got a lot of our corn planted in mid-May, but not all of it. There were only a few soybeans that went into the ground at that time in this part of the state."

HOLD THE FROST UNTIL THANKSGIVING: Yield predictions for 2013 from Iowa farmers depend on where localized rains fell this summer and on how late the beans were planted. Much will depend on when the first killing frost hits this fall. Many growers predict average or slightly-below average bean yields assuming normal date for first fall frost.
HOLD THE FROST UNTIL THANKSGIVING: Yield predictions for 2013 from Iowa farmers depend on where localized rains fell this summer and on how late the beans were planted. Much will depend on when the first killing frost hits this fall. Many growers predict average or slightly-below average bean yields assuming normal date for first fall frost.

He adds, "It wasn't until June 5-6 that we got another day or so to plant. We got another day or two around June 11 and then June 18-20 we had a short spell where a lot of beans were planted. And those of us who still had beans to plant finished about the 5th of July. Of course, a number of farmers took the 'prevented planting' option offered by crop insurance so those fields weren't planted to corn or soybeans this year."