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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Soybeans Off to a Slow Start

June 6, 2005

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio's soybean crop, like corn, has gotten off to a slow start this growing season.

Cool spring temperatures and cold, moist soils have delayed or slowed seed germination and plant development.

"Germination and emergence was very slow. On some fields we got some hard rains which created a crust, and so that inhibited soybeans from coming up too," said Jim Beuerlein, an Ohio State University Extension agronomist. "The crop is growing very slow because of cold soils and cool weather. Growth is directly related to temperature. The warmer it is, the faster the plants will grow."

Like corn producers, soybean growers took advantage of the warm, sunny weather in mid-April to plant. The crop, however, was impacted by the cold snap that soon followed, dumping cold rain and snow across the state.

Despite the slow development, the crop is on its way to a successful season.

"The good news is that the stands are quite good, especially in no-till fields. And there is little or no insect damage or diseases to date," said Beuerlein. "So for now everything looks good for a very nice crop."

All eyes are turned to soybean rust, which could change the outcome of the growing season if it were to arrive in Ohio. However, soybean rust has been slow to develop in the United States, all indications being that weather conditions have not been favorable for disease development.

According to the Ohio Agricultural Statistics Service, over 90 percent of the soybean crop has been planted, nearly 30 percent higher than this same time last year. And Beuerlein is confident that once summer-like weather hits the state, the crop will rapidly develop.

Candace Pollock
Jim Beuerlein