Soybean harvest is underway, but delays have caused farmers in Crawford County to make little progress.
With temperatures cooling off, soybean harvest is a priority, according to Wildcat Extension Agent Josh Coltrain, and some farmers have even left corn fields to get beans in.
“Farmers are more worried about getting beans out of the field,” he said. “Corn can store in the field — farmers don’t want to have to do that, but it can — and soybeans face greater potential loss from shattering.”
Shattering is often caused by cool temperatures and describes when soybean pods split open and drop beans onto the ground. If soybeans are on the ground, they will not be picked up during harvest, thus damaging yield.
Coltrain said even with delays — mostly from inopportune rain — he is hearing good numbers for soybean yield.
“I think yield is going to be high this year,” he said. “We had a lot of potential at the beginning of the season. If weather had been perfect, soybean yield could have been off the charts.”
While yield is looking good overall, Coltrain said there are a few fields that have the potential to not produce soybeans due to cold weather. Forecasts are showing a potentially harsh cold front in the coming weeks.
“It’s not very many fields, but a few that look to be very late planted, double crop fields that may not make,” Coltrain said. “Those fields could be in trouble with a potential cold front on the way.”
With soybeans still in the field — as well as some corn — it is drawing close to wheat planting time, but it may be a while before farmers are looking at wheat planting as a priority.
“It’s getting to normal wheat planting time, but I haven’t seen much planted yet,” Coltrain said. “A lot of farmers are still trying to get fall crops out.”
Coltrain said the later in the year — and colder it gets — the higher seed count needs to be planted to ensure the best yield.
— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.