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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Ohio Soybeans Behind But the Stage is Set for Good Yields

July 30, 2009

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Like corn, Ohio's soybean crop may be a bit behind on development due to cooler-than-normal weather, but the stage is set for potentially good yields.

Jim Beuerlein, an Ohio State University Extension soybean agronomist, said that how good the yields are will depend on what Mother Nature has in store for the crop in August and September.

"The weather we are having right now – some intermittent rains and sunny days – is ideal for growth and development, pollination and pod set. Things right now are looking good," said Beuerlein, who also holds an appointment with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. "It's all going to depend on what happens in August and September. If we get good weather, it'll be a good crop."

According to the Ohio Agricultural Statistics Service, Ohio's soybean crop is 68 percent blooming, on schedule based on last year's numbers, but 12 percent behind the five-year average. Over 15 percent of the crop is setting pods, 14 percent behind the five-year average.

Beuerlein said that cooler-than-normal summer temperatures are slowing the growth rate of the crop, but they shouldn't impact yields.

"We started planting late in the spring and it's been cooler than normal, so the plants are a bit smaller than usual. Plant growth through June is a function of soil and air temperatures and cooler weather just slows down plant growth," said Beuerlein. "At this point, the plants should be putting nitrogen toward grain fill and not plant growth, but the slower development shouldn't impact yield potential."

The crop is rated 95 percent fair to excellence condition, according to the Ohio Agricultural Statistics Service.

For more information on the soybean crop, log on to the OSU Extension Agronomic Crops Team Web site at

The soybean is Ohio's No. 2 field crop commodity, generating nearly $2 billion to the agricultural industry, according to the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Soybeans are grown in Ohio for a wide variety of uses -- from grain to food-grade to renewable energy production.

Candace Pollock
Jim Beuerlein