Most of the beans in the county are still small at the present time, compliments of all the wet weather that we had earlier in the summer that kept farmers from planting.

Most of the beans in the county are still small at the present time, compliments of all the wet weather that we had earlier in the summer that kept farmers from planting. This means that it is going to be a race to the finish this fall between the soybeans and frost.  It also means that the soybeans will be at greater risk of getting clobbered by other acts of mother nature as they progress toward maturity.
The soybean aphid is a mostly forgotten pest that first appeared on the scene several years ago.  This insect has the potential to cause significant yield reductions if they occur in large enough numbers and has done so every year in Illinois and other corn belt states.  The good thing about this situation is that there has only been one year when there were damaging numbers of these insects here in the state of Kansas.  That was several years ago and the damaging populations occurred around Emporia. Since then, I have seen these insects in small numbers every year.  Hot weather seems to reduce the reproductive rate.  So, even though it has been a serious problem in beans in other states, so far we have seen little activity here.  Let’s hope it stays that way.
We more commonly know the corn earworm by the damage it causes in the ears of field corn and sweet corn in the garden.  However, this insect is distributed all around the world and causes damage in dozens of crops worldwide.  The earworm damages soybeans by eating the beans out of the pod long before maturity.  This pest normally does little foliar damage, but occasionally occurs in such high numbers that it can cause serious defoliation.  Of course, the foliar damage comes after the worms chew the pods off.    The worms usually don’t start showing up until the beans begin to bloom. With the high price of soybeans, it would be wise to keep an eye on your bean crop.  Scouting as the beans begin to bloom and set pods is very important.
Last but not least is soybean rust.  Once again this year there are sentinel plots planted all over the country.  With this monitoring system and hundreds of Extension personnel watching these plots and other fields as well, we should know exactly when the disease begins to show up. With this early warning system, this disease is unlikely to do significant damage before farmers have the opportunity to get their beans sprayed.  Last year, soybean rust did finally show up but it was so late in the season that there was no significant reductions in yield.  Hopefully, this will be the rule rather than the exception.
If you have fields that you think might have a problem, just give me a call at 724- 8233 and I would be happy to come out and take a look.