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Soybeans Yield Mixed Bag For 1997 Growers
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Some Mississippi soybean growers are looking at excellent yields; others, who fell victim to unseasonably cool, wet conditions at planting time, never had a chance.
Mack Young, Quitman County agricultural agent, said this year's crop is divided into early, middle and late crop beans.
"Yields on the earliest planted beans are looking really good. With at least half the Group IV's harvested, yields are running from the mid-30s to the 60-bushel-per-acre range," Young said.
Young said the middle crop of beans will produce "decent yields," between 30 and 40 bushels per acre.
"Unfortunately, about 20 percent of the Quitman County crop was planted after July 1, which is very late," Young said. "Dry weather has hit, and these beans need a rain soon or they will be doomed to some very low yields, probably in the 10 to 15 bushel range."
Eddie Harris, extension area soybean agent in Humphreys County, said the cool, wet conditions early resulted in some replanting. Seeds that were not pretreated with a fungicide were prone to pythium, a seedling disease.
"Farmers probably will be more likely to pretreat seed next year. The seed treatment is a lot cheaper than replanting," Harris said.
Dr. David Shaw, a soybean researcher at Mississippi State University, said yields are good across the state, except for Northeast Mississippi where farmers had to replant two or three times, resulting in planting much later than ideal.
"Pythium affects the root systems and kills the seedlings or weakens the plants," Shaw said. "With poor root systems, plants showed more stress during drought-like conditions."
Shaw said plants have been blooming and setting pods -- critical stages for needing water -- during a late-season dry spell.
Monroe County agent David Roberts said growers are facing a late season dry spell and insect pressure.
"At best, we're looking at a poor soybean crop this year. If fields don't get rain soon, it'll be a disaster," Roberts said. "About 40 percent of the crop is in late beans and they are at the pod setting and filling stage. Rain now is critical."