Shawn Conley, State Soybean and Small Grains Specialist
The weather outlook does not look promising for any soybeans getting harvested over the next few weeks. This reality has many growers concerned about soybean sprouting in the pod. Fortunately this is not a common concern for northern soybean farmers but may be a problem in 2018. Given my lack of experience on this topic I leaned on a few of my southern colleagues for thoughts and advice on this topic.
Dr. Jeremy Ross; Extension Agronomist – Soybean/Professor ; Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences Department; University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture stated:
“We’re having issues with this again this year. From my observation, this tends to be a bigger problem in years where we have adverse weather conditions (typically hot and dry) during early reproduction, and then we have wetter than normal conditions during late reproduction. This is what we saw in 2009, 2016, and this year. My thoughts are that the pod cannot expand as rapidly as the seed expands, rupturing the pod suture. Once exposed to moisture, these seed sprout. I have seen seed sprout prior to the pod rupturing, and I can’t explain that sprouting other than excessive moisture caused the sprouting. Usually it’s just a few pods that show this, and they are usually at the same position on the main stem (all the pods developed at the same time). I’ve seen this happen up and down the main stem, but usually in the upper ½ of the plant is where I see the occur most frequently. From what I have seen in the past, the affected pods are less than 5% of the total number per plant. I haven’t seen this specific to any one particular genetics, variety or company. For more information refer to his blog article entitled: Splitting pods and sprouting soybean seed in the pods”
Dr. William Wiebold, Professor of Agronomy in the Division of Plant Science at the University of Missouri provides very detailed and excellent information regarding the mechanisms of sprouting in soybean in this article entitled: Wet Weather Can Cause Seeds to Sprout on the Plant.
Lets just hope the weather forecast is wrong and WI soybean farmers start rolling in their soybean fields like Bucky will roll over Nebraska this Saturday! Go Bucky!!!