The soybeans seem like they are really taking off now. They are starting to get bigger and the rows are getting tighter. We found the first R3 soybeans today, which means the fungicide season for soybeans is soon. This means we found a 3/16″ pod on the top four nodes. A 3/16″ pod looks like a droopy flower that is closed. This is earlier than the past couple of years, and one area appears to have made R3, then back to R2 as two new sets of nodes flowered near the top of the soybean today. There are a lot of flowers and nodes on these soybeans, let’s keep them protected and see what they can do! However, I’m not pushing for spraying right away. There are little / no diseases out there yet, so just like in the corn, let’s wait until this weekend or the first part of next week to apply. We found two aphids today, and unfortunately, the timing for aphids and fungicide doesn’t look like they are going to match up. Maybe we won’t need to spray for aphids again this year!
Speaking of fungicide – The Iowa Soybean Association On-Farm Network has been doing trial work for years performed by farmers on their own farms. You can search their database for a long list of trials and you can search down to the county to find which trials have been done and how they worked locally. At one of their meetings a comment I heard has stuck with me: “Year in and year out, fungicide on soybeans has the highest chance of a return.” I had to look this up, and in 538 fungicide trials in their system, the average response was just under 2 bushel at 1.9 with an average return on investment of a $14.50 profit. The beans are still in good shape and getting through them is fairly easy. Consider spraying your soybeans with Aproach Prima to boost their yield and your profit.
Remember 40 days ago when we were trying to decide if the soybeans were going to survive after the frost. It was tough to determine what to keep and what to tear up. One of the things we talked about was new growth coming from the cotelydons even after the tissue above them was dead. Here is a plant where the first couple trifoliates were froze off, but it regrew from the cotyledons and formed two plants in one: