Soybeans close up

Across Iowa, many farmers were pleased with soybean yields coming in higher than expected.

Despite some late-October snows and planting delays, farmers were able to get their soybean crop out of the ground with better-than-expected yields. Iowa Crop Improvement Association executive director Jim Rouse said the group was also pleased with results of field tests.

“That’s the same thing we saw too,” Rouse said. “We got some in mid-May and some in early June, and usually beans are more forgiving on the late planting.”

The ICIA’s Iowa Crop Performance Tests provide direct comparisons among a large number of corn hybrids and soybean varieties.

There were some widespread variations between yields, largely affected by “geography, weather, timing and luck,” Rouse said. He said if soybeans weren’t planted before June 10-15, that’s when some fields really started to struggle.

While he didn’t want to discuss specific varieties, Rouse said the central and southern parts of Iowa saw big yields compared to northern Iowa, and overall, some locations produced some of their highest yields throughout the testing history.

“Our Clarence location had an average of 77, almost 78 (bushels per acre), and our next highest was Lewis in the southwest which was around 73 and Crawfordsville at 74. We’ve been in the low 70s before, but I don’t know if we’ve had a test average 75 before,” Roose said.

Looking at all sites together, Rouse said his team was happy with how the fields turned out this year based on the returned data. Quality may not have been as high in some of their harder-

hit locations, but with the weather that headlined the 2019 season, he said he was happy ICIA only had to throw out one location’s results.

Rouse said the final soybean field trials were harvested on Nov. 1, so they were a little behind, “but well ahead of the state.” He said they focused on getting the bean crop harvested before corn trials due to the shorter window for soybean quality.

Rouse said this year was the first year ICIA has had enough upgraded equipment to use autosteer and GPS technologies, which helped immensely in their planting and harvesting. He also praised the team he works with for their efforts in a challenging season.

“We’ve got a small crew, and they are knowledgeable and dedicated,” Rouse said. “They work hard to get these things planted on time and harvested on time, and then to get the data cranked around.”

The results from the ICIA soybean field tests can be found in this edition of Iowa Farmer Today.