Some very hot weather is again consuming Indiana and the Midwest. How will the soybean crop handle the stress? A late planting season and difficult growing conditions to date have complicated the picture for soybeans this year, and Dr. Shaun Casteel, Purdue Extension soybean specialist says Indiana soybean fields are not in a good place for a heatwave.
“As we look at our growing season we would normally want it to occur earlier in the season so that we’ve got a nice deep root system that can weather the storms later in the summer, but we’re already later in the soybeans and our soybeans are young,” he told HAT Wednesday afternoon. “With V2, V3 soybeans we want those plants to be actively growing with the shorter, compressed season that we have. A lot of these fields don’t have good root systems and compromised roots from compaction, and a lot of these fields are going to deteriorate even more with this heat that’s coming and the dry conditions we’ve had over a lot of the state the last couple of weeks.”
Cloudy, cooler and wet planting conditions in June opened soybean fields up to seedling disease, possibly leading to sudden death syndrome emerging soon. With the dry conditions intensifying this week from the hot temperatures, Casteel is concerned spider mites could appear. He recommends scouting during the growth stages.
“R3 is going to be the first week or two of August, so we need to be sure we’re going out there in that August period and scouting fields to see if we’ve got diseases starting to pop, frog eye, or if we even have some issues with some nutrients where we might need to do a foliar spray to bring those back to life because we’ve got compromised root systems.”
Casteel said some Indiana fields did benefit from on-time planting and good field conditions, and those areas, including areas of northwest Indiana display some good soybean plants with good root systems that can withstand the mid and upper 90-degree weather on the way. A few places in Indiana could see pod setting next week.