Joel DeJong

Planting was ahead of schedule and that along with the drought could push the harvest time up this year.

Iowa State University Extension Agronomist Joel DeJong says there are several area soybean fields that have begun turning color, and showing signs of drying. “Significantly earlier than we would normally expect, but we did plant our soybean crop earlier this year too — and I think that is part of the reason,” DeJong says.

He says the soybeans need more rain to fill out the beans in the pods. He says there are many fields where the beans are shutting down their growth prematurely and he believes that will impact the soybean size pretty dramatically. DeJong says not all the crops are hurting. He says there will be huge ranges where beans on sandy ground shut down weeks ago without rain and their pods didn’t fill, while there are others that hung on and they are filling the pods a lot better.

DeJong sees a lot of the same thing in cornfields. “Parts of those fields you’ve seen the ears drop – and that’s pretty much an indicator they’ve quit growing,” DeJong says. He says the early shutdown will also impact the final product in corn.
He says the kernel size is likely to be a little smaller. DeJong says it could end up with the soybean and corn harvest happening in about the same time.

DeJong says he never had a good rain at his home in Le Mars this growing season. The Iowa State University crops specialist says the only saving grace to this year’s yield is that we began the season with adequate amounts of subsoil moisture.

(By Dennis Morrice, KLEM, LeMars)