Thursday, August 25, 2011
We got a much needed rain during the middle of the night and when we woke up this morning. Sable and I had just walked our best soybeans yesterday and I was thinking of how much rain it needed or if it rained how much yield it would add.
I looked up the water requirements for soybeans and this chart says they need .2 to .3 inches of water per day right now during pod fill. That's why even a good and sometimes rare one inch rain only lasts a week for a soybean crop.
Since we have pretty much maximized vegetative growth in our area more water is needed for pod formation and fill. I would say we got a few tenths and there was band of rain across the county that produced one inch so it varies a lot as usual. No wonder so many people ask how much rain did you get?
We often judge the rainfall during the season by how green the grass is in the yard and how often we have to mow it. I mowed some tall grass yesterday after letting it go two weeks and now it has enough water to grow again. Our yard is greener than the picture yesterday where Ford Baldwin is standing in front of the brown corn but not as green as the picture at Lower Gwynn.
Kip Cullers broke the world record for soybean production twice using irrigation on sandy loam. He said cooling the crop down had as much benefit for flowering as the water does to produce pods and beans.
I think I could have challenged his yield last year with 160k plants with 60 pods but by the time the summer was over, I only had 45 pods per plant and they only had one really good bean in them. Soybeans will "shuck pods" to fill the other pods depending on how much water and heat there is.
Crops need water and most of the US depends on Mother Nature for that. That has never stopped since the beginning of time.