Moisture is Critical During Pod Fill

Boeding soybean plotJuly makes corn and August makes soybeans, as the saying goes. That’s because adequate moisture levels are especially crucial during two key developmental stages: germination and reproduction-seed development. Having adequate moisture wasn’t an issue at germination time as record rain fell in Iowa after Easter. The Midwest experienced wet, cold weather in May and into June, yet some areas haven’t received a drop of moisture for the past three or four weeks.

Moisture during the reproductive stages has a major impact on yield potential. When water is short during this growth stage, soybeans show signs of drought stress. Plants may abort flowers, and the numbers of pods set is reduced. Fewer seeds per pod are produced per pod, and smaller seed may result. Because dry conditions can slow or stop the nitrogen fixation needed by the plant to produce soybeans, yields will be lowered.

Anytime you get this type of weather, other stress factors arise. You may notice soybean fields turning yellow, which is a common symptom of Iron Deficiency Chlorosis (IDC).  IDC is a function of the soil type, so it’s most common in poorly-drained soils with higher-than-normal pH values.

Unfortunately, it’s too late to really manage IDC properly by the time it’s noticed in a field.  The best defense is a good offense.  Note trouble spots now, and then be proactive when choosing future soybean brands for these fields. In fact, Latham Hi-Tech Seeds gives the IRONCLADTM designation only to those soybeans bred for high yields with a strong defensive package.

There is no such thing as complete resistance to IDC, but some soybean brands (i.e. varieties) are better than others at handling this condition.  Because Latham Hi-Tech Seeds is headquartered North Central Iowa – where Iron Chlorosis is a familiar challenge – we have always tried to choose soybean genetics that have the best possible scores against this condition.  Visit with your local Latham® dealer about specific products that would best fit your farm, or feel free to call our office directly at 1-877-GO-LATHAM.