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Dry, hot conditions damage soybean crop
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Scattered rainfall brought relief to crops in some areas of Mississippi during late June, but drought conditions continue to grip most of the state.
“The crop statewide needs a good rain,” said Alan Blaine, soybean specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “The potential for this crop in general is still better than many may think, but fields that have not caught some of the scattered showers and are not under irrigation are just a few days away from the point of no return for reaching anywhere near normal yields.”
Problems with grasshoppers and other insect pests are beginning to show up in soybeans, but Blaine said the Asian soybean rust threat remains low, even thought this year's first rust sighting in soybeans has been reported in Florida.
“Rust was found in a Florida sentinel plot,” Blaine said. “Soybean producers should continue to watch for rust in their fields, but the hot, dry conditions are expected to keep it from becoming a problem this year.”
An extensive scouting program is being conducted in Mississippi this year to help producers know if soybean rust becomes a threat to the crop.
Art Smith, Extension agronomic crops agent in Tunica and DeSoto counties said nonirrigated soybeans in northwest Mississippi that have not received rainfall are showing signs of drought stress, including yellowing and stunted growth.
“About 35 percent of the beans in the northwest area of the state are irrigated,” he said. “Irrigation is an expensive proposition this year because of the high price of fuel to run pumps, but early-planted beans are at the peak of their production cycle and need moisture.”
The biggest concerns for soybean producers in Noxubee County are lack of moisture to fill out pods and a problem with stinkbugs in early planted fields.
“I saw fields during the past week that already need treating for stinkbugs,” said Dennis Reginelli, Extension area agent for Noxubee County. “Producers are wondering how much money they can put into insect control, but you can't let stinkbugs take a crop that still has the potential for average yields, and we have later planted soybeans that have that potential if we get rain.”