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Soybean farmers are taking serious hit

Harvest season rains have robbed soybean growers of strong yields and bean quality, reducing profits in an already in an already challenging year, according to researchers at Mississippi State University (MSU).

“We were harvesting a beautiful crop with outstanding yields before the rains came the last two weeks of September,” said Trey Koger, soybean specialist with MSU Extensive Service. “Now that farmers are finally back in the fields, we are seeing average yield losses of 5 percent to 10 percent.”

In addition to yield losses, damage estimates average between 5 percent and 20 percent.

“The amount of damage the crop received is extremely variable,” Koger said. “We’re seeing damage from 2 percent to 80 percent. You couple these numbers with the yield losses, and farmers are not seeing as good a harvest as they anticipated just a few weeks ago.”

For two weeks, the crop stayed at 26 percent harvested, but it climbed to approximately 35 percent after three days in the field. Soybean harvest is typically 80 percent complete by early October.

Jeff Gore, an entomologist at the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, said rainy weather was not the only thing impacting soybeans.

“The red-banded stinkbug is slowly creeping its way up our state from Louisiana,” he said. “We had them at low levels last year and had to treat a couple of fields for these stinkbugs, but they are a lot more widespread this year on the later-planted soybeans.”

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