So you finally got, or are about to get, some rain. Whew! Good news after a tough 6-8 weeks here in the Midwest. What now?
If you haven’t been already, get digging. Those farms that planted into a less-than-optimal seed bed will most likely feature inhibited root systems that could find no port of entry into the cement-hard ground our early drought created. See photos to the right. Roots have struggled to move beyond the original seed furrow. What can you do about this? I saw several growers out there with cultivators this past week. But most of all you can plan accordingly for the weeks and months to come. Be aware that unless significant rain comes your way, those roots won’t be spreading out to acquire nutrients that are deeper down or farther to the left or right. If close to tasseling, a big chunk of the N needs are already in the rearview mirror. Still, fertility will carry a heavy burden in bringing your field through to maturity with the capability to build seed size/composition late. Build that plant nutrition roadmap now.
At maturity this fall, these wedge-rooted fields will be vulnerable to wind pressure. Your harvest pattern, and the timing of when you harvest, will need adjusting farm by farm to assure you bring the most grain into the hopper.
Insects are coming for your beans…aphids, spider mites, thrips, stinkbugs. Scout and react in a timely fashion to what you find. If you are low on manpower to run your own equipment, or depending on a third party sprayer, you may need to create an extra response time cushion.
Monitor weed pressure. Dry weather has given a lot of us the herbicide activation blues. The Enlist E3® soybean system offers you some solid options for cleanup, but get on and start riding that horse soon, because waterhemp and ragweed in particular will be tough to manage as they grow taller.