KUDZU BUGS, an invasive soybean pest from Asia, were discovered mid-July in Vicksburg, Miss. Mississippi State University Extension Service entomologists are monitoring the state’s soybean fields and say the insect can be controlled. (Photo by USDA-ARS /Richard Evans)
Recent rains and irrigation have helped portions of Mississippi’s soybeans recover from June’s dry spell, but more moisture is needed to complete the season.
“We are thankful for the rain that we’ve received this growing season, and we all know it is a blessing,” said Trent Irby, Mississippi State University Extension Service soybean specialist. “But we still have several weeks to go in many areas, and additional moisture certainly will be needed to finish making the crop.”
Irby said the state’s soybean crop looks good.
“Our earliest-planted soybeans are in the late reproductive stage with a few areas beginning to change color,” he said. “The later-planted portion of the crop, as well as the double-crop acres, are close to or have already reached the bloom phase. Sufficient moisture is needed during these reproductive stages to help the crop load up and fill pods.”
Planting began in late March this year and continued through early July. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports Mississippi has 2.13 million soybean acres this year.
“Many of the state’s producers practice an early planting system where earlier maturing varieties are planted to assist with managing for late-season pest pressure and drought stress. This system also allows producers to harvest earlier in the fall.”
At this point in the season, the earlier soybeans have the advantage.
“Things were relatively uneventful up until mid-July,” Irby said. “Much of the earlier portion of the crop will likely finish the season without too much pressure from disease or insects, but our later-planted soybean crop, particularly the double-crop portion, will need to be monitored closely so that timely insect and disease management practices can be applied to minimize any negative effects on yield.”