Extended Flooding Could Wipe Out Soybean Crop
Farmers across the country are sharing photos of their fields under water, and the precipitation doesn’t seem to be letting up. While the bad luck seems to lie with those who have yet to plant their soybeans, the crops that are in the ground may be in an even worse way.
Soybean plants that are at the V2-V3 growth are vulnerable to extended flooding. If flooded for three days, farmers could experience a 20% yield loss. Bump that up to six days, and they’re looking at as much as 93% loss, says Laura Lindsey, an Ohio State University Extension soybean and small grain specialist.
Yield loss isn’t the only trouble that the continuous precipitation on saturated fields is causing. Soybean growers could also be riding the risk of poor nodulation (yellow or stunted soybeans due to lack of nitrogen) and diseases such as water molds.
Until the water clears out, it’s difficult to tell what condition the soybeans are in thus far.
“A wait-and-see approach is the option for growers now,” Lindsey says. “The potential for damage is also dependent on the soil type and drainage the field has, with well-drained soils lessening the potential impact of the weather.”
Many farmers will be forced to decide if they should replant, but it’s getting late in the season for replanting, adds Lindsey.
“With high costs associated with replanting, most growers should carefully weigh all options before deciding to replant,” she says. “Growers have to weigh if the percentage of yield loss from the flooding will be greater than the potential yield loss associated with late planting.”