It is no secret that the soybeans in Crawford County are in serious trouble. Surprisingly, some beans don’t look too bad considering the severe heat and lack of rainfall this summer. However, most beans don’t look good at all and a quick trip into the field confirms that the beans are not in very good shape. Most are blooming or have just finished blooming. However, it is so dry that most of these beans will not produce many pods at all without some substantial rainfall in the near future
In addition to the poor condition of the soybeans, farmers are now being challenged to come up with enough forage to get their cattle by until such time as there is some grass for grazing, whenever that might be. Many are baling corn stalks and this is really a pretty good substitute for hay in situations like we now have.
Some farmers may find themselves tempted to make hay out of their soybeans. Based on the information presented above it is easy to see why they may be thinking about this. However, I personally don’t like this idea very much. First of all, there is still some yield potential in the beans if we get rain. In addition, most of the beans are so poor that there wouldn’t be much forage production anyway
In addition to these negative things mentioned above there are some pretty strict limitations on haying and grazing of soybeans after treatment with many of the herbicides applied to soybeans. There is a list of these chemicals available at this website http://www.agronomy.ksu.edu/doc4019.ashx.
In addition to all of the other problems, there are some fairly high levels of corn earworms in some of the bean fields. Treatment level in beans is one small worm per foot of row in thirty inch rows. Should you spray? I think that if you have a situation where there are enough worms to cause significant reductions in yield, they should be sprayed. However, you need to look at the beans closely to make sure there are any flowers or pods on them. If you see none, there may not be enough yield potential to warrant spraying. This is not an easy question to answer this year with the condition of the beans being so bad. Each farmer will have to weigh the pros and cons and decide for themselves if spraying is justifiable. Call me at 724-8233 if you have any questions.