Soybean crop looking strong

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Spring rains bolster local crop

Soybean farmers look to be in good shape this year, especially those who planted in the spring.

Tim Schnakenberg, regional agronomist for Missouri University Extension, said there is strong potential for a banner soybean year. Most local soybeans are in northern Barry County and spread throughout Lawrence County.

"It all boils down to the good rain we got late in the season," he said. "There are full-season crops planted in May and double-crops planted in June or July, right after wheat is harvested. April rains benefitted the corn crop, and they helped get the soybeans up and growing."

Schnakenberg said June was fair, and although July was somewhat dry, a wet August is great for farmers.

"It's almost like August and September flip-flopped from what we normally see," he said. "But, we're keeping an eye on the double-crop soybeans, because an early frost could kill them off."

Soybean prices have remained steady throughout the year, peaking in February at $9.86 per bushel and dipping before coming back to $9.24 per bushel in August. Futures show prices are likely to rise.

"Nationwide, supply and demand drive market prices," Schnakenberg said. "Any time we have a strong crop, prices usually suffer, so that could be a problem."

Schnakenberg said farmers rotate during the year from corn to wheat to soybeans, and for that reason, a majority of the soybeans in the area are likely double-cropped planted in the summer.

"If farmers got their wheat out early and immediately planted their soybeans, they should be fine," he said. "But, farmers who were well into July when they planted, those are the fields we are worried about."

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Lawrence County has 14,500 acres of soybeans in 2016, and Barry County has more than 2,000.

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