With weather continuing to cool down, soybeans are still in the fields in parts of Crawford County, but harvest is nearly complete.
Wildcat Extension Agent Josh Coltrain said there are only a few unharvested soybean fields left, and some may not be harvested. Beans still in the field were most likely planted late in the season.
“We don’t have much further to go,” he said. “There are some I’m not sure will be harvested. The cold weather may keep them from making beans.”
Coltrain said his estimation is that late-planted beans did not have time to mature before temperatures became too cold. However, he said podworm damage could also cause soybeans to not produce.
Colder weather and freezing temperatures bring with them the threat of shattering — soybeans falling off of the plant before harvest — but Coltrain said the plants most like to shatter have been harvested.
“Plants in the most danger for shattering were the ones farmers got out,” he said. “The ones that are still green to the freeze are not as susceptible.”
While farmers work to get soybeans out, many are also planting winter wheat. Wheat planting is also coming to a close for the year, but Coltrain said there is still a good chunk of time to finish up.
Wheat can be planted later into the season in southeast Kansas than in much of the state due to more mild temperatures.
“We still have a while to plant, mainly because our weather is more mild, just enough so we can plant longer,” Coltrain said. “Especially in northwest Kansas plants are more susceptible to cold shocking.”
Extreme cold can shock the plant and cause it to not take to the soil while young.
— 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.