No. 23 Article 8/October 9, 2009

Soybean Harvest Is Underway

Soybean harvest activities will be in full force in the coming weeks as weather permits. NASS reported 6% of soybean acres were harvested as of October 4, which is 34% behind the 5-year average. Soybean development has been a couple of weeks behind the 5-year average all season long, and 2009 will certainly go down as a unique season. Soybean development remained a few days to a week behind 2008 until the end of August, when it slipped two weeks behind 2008 because of cold August temperatures. Interestingly, the development progressed at a seemingly accelerated pace in September, closing the gap to 2008 development as maturity approaches.

These state data are consistent with observations in my research plots, where it seemed that the R3 to R5 stages developed slowly but R5 to R7 developed fast. I know the latest-planted fields still need some more heat and sunshine, but unfortunately in the last week or so we have been back in cooler weather patterns, with temperatures 3 to 8°F below average. Cool, wet weather and crop development behind average have been the story all season long. Nonetheless, harvest is narrowly here, and the question of what this soybean crop can yield is soon to be answered. I hope that the answer is a plentiful and safe harvest for all of you.

Here are some meandering thoughts regarding soybean harvest:

--Vince M. Davis

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