COLUMBUS – Despite varied rainfall and high insect populations, Ohio’s soybean crop may be headed for a record-breaking year in yields.
State average yield is forecasted at 44 bushels per acre, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Ohio field office. If that number is realized, this year’s growing season will join 1997 and 1998 for the second-best record. Last year’s average yield was the top record – 47 bushels per acre.
Rainfall. Soybean performance varied depending on what weather was thrown at the crop during the growing season.
This year was a good year for most growers and a disaster for some, said Jim Beuerlein, an Ohio State University Extension agronomist.
He said about 10 percent of the state stayed dry all summer long, and there, soybean yields varied anywhere from 15-30 bushels per acre.
Another 15 percent of the state didn’t get enough rain, but fields weren’t horribly dry, he said, and their yields typically ranged from 30-40 bushels per acre.
The other 75 percent of the state got much-needed rains during the grain-filling period, said Beuerlein, and some farmers in those areas reported as high as 70 bushel-per-acre yields.
Spring showers extended the planting season for some growers into June, while late season rainfall delayed harvest. A small percentage of fields still wait to be harvested.
In between those rains was a summer of dry conditions detrimental to the crop in some parts of the state.
Insects. Inconsistent rainfall wasn’t the only problem plaguing the soybean crop. Soybean aphids, bean leaf beetles, Japanese beetles and grasshoppers were an unwelcome sight.
“There were a lot of insect problems during the year,” said Beuerlein. “Due to high insect populations, most of the northern two-thirds of the state was sprayed for some combination of insects that were present in the fields.”
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