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The information presented on this page was originally released on September 27, 1996. It may not be outdated, but please search our site for more current information. If you plan to quote or reference this information in a publication, please check with the Extension specialist or author before proceeding.
Old Lesson Learned From 1996 Soybeans
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi's soybean growers are experiencing that age-old farming lesson: no one can predict the weather with certainty from planting to harvest.
"If someone could tell me exactly what the weather would do, I could tell them what soybean maturity group to plant," said Dr. Alan Blaine, extension agronomist at Mississippi State University.
"Early maturing varieties (like Group IVs) have performed well in Mississippi; but this year, dry spells in June and July took their toll on early varieties," Blaine said. "Dry weather early delayed maturity of some early varieties, and the intermittent showers, foggy mornings and heavy dews received since mid-August have caused a great deal of seed quality problems."
Despite drought, disease and insect problems scattered throughout the growing season, Mississippi's soybean yield probably will be above the five-year average.
The agronomist said the timing of the summer droughts did not hurt later varieties as much. Early planted Group Vs (a later maturing variety) are looking especially good.
"Ideally, growers should spread the risk of weather problems by planting Group IVs, Vs and VIs," Blaine said. "Mississippi doesn't normally experience a hot, dry June like this past summer."
When growers plan for the next planting season, they should not make their decisions based on any single year.
Robert Martin, area soybean agent in Issaquena County, said yields range from less than 20 bushels per acre to more than 50.
"Growers have harvested most of the Group IVs, which is about 30 percent of the soybeans," Martin said. "Growers are just starting to harvest Group Vs, and those yields are looking better."
Martin said rains that came into the state on Sept. 27 caused some yield losses but mostly just delayed harvest a few days.
Dr. Tom Jones, extension agricultural economist at MSU, said soybean cash prices are near $8 per bushel, compared to about $6.50 a year ago.
Mississippi growers will harvest more than 1.75 million acres of soybeans, a 3 percent decline from 1995.