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Published August 05, 2013, 09:25 AM

Soy limbo

Some farmers in the region are seeing stunting of soybeans, possibly because of carryover from 2012 corn production and lack of needed rain.

By: Mikkel Pates, Agweek

VERONA, N.D. — VERONA, N.D. — Some farmers in the region are seeing stunting of soybeans, possibly because of carryover from 2012 corn production and lack of needed rain.

“We’ve got a lot of beat up soybeans because we didn’t have enough rain to break it down,” says Tracey Domine, who farms near Verona, N.D., in LaMoure County, in the southeast part of the state. He also runs Domine Sales and Service, a seed sales company that handles products from several companies.

Domine says his soybeans were planted May 10, and should have been knee-high to waist-high in late July, but instead were stunted and uneven in their development. Where 30-inch-wide corn rows had been in 2012, there was a bad row of beans in 2013, a “halfway decent” row of beans, and then another bad row of beans. The pattern follows the corn rows, or in areas with extra stalks and roots on the ground.

Hans Kandel, a North Dakota State University broadleaf crop agronomist, says he’s gotten “relatively more calls” about drought-related herbicide carryover, but it’s difficult to say whether it’s widespread. “It’s like an iceberg — you get a few calls, but how does that represent the whole situation? I don’t know,” he says.

Under normal moisture conditions, it isn’t an issue.

Hard to quantify

Rich Zollinger, a NDSU Extension Service weed specialist in Fargo, says if there’s any general trend on herbicide carryover, he hasn’t heard about it. Kaisa Kinzer, manager and plant diagnostician with the NDSU Plant Diagnostic Laboratory, says she hasn’t seen any significant up-tick in numbers of samples sent in for soybean diagnosis for herbicide carryover in 2013. She says she might have expected more, considering the 2012 drought.

Kinzer says the laboratory typically gets 700 plant diagnostic samples from the public in a season, and about half of those are for agricultural crops. She performs a visual diagnosis and about 10 percent of those samples typically involve herbicide problems — drift, misapplication and carryover. Some of this year’s soybean samples appear to have been affected by herbicide carryover, she says, but no more than other years. Carryover can be influenced by many things, including soil type, temperature, soil pH (acidity/alkalinity) organic matter and moisture, among other things.

Normal moisture fix

Domine doesn’t plan to change herbicides and thinks the answer is simply more fall moisture.

Domine used a herbicide designed to control a broad spectrum of grasses and broadleaf in herbicide-tolerant corn. The chemical offers a couple of modes of action to guard against weed resistance. He says he has talked to others who indicate the problem isn’t specific to only one product. Domine initially thought someone had made an application error — perhaps too high a rate — but has confirmed that’s not the case.

“The chemical is carrying over into the stalks and the roots; it just didn’t break down,” Domine says. The beans were starting to flower in late July. Good fields of beans in the area were knee-high, while Domine’s beans were ankle-high.

“Even the ones that look decent are half-sick; they aren’t performing the way they should. I don’t think we’re going to see this come out of it. We were hoping they’d pop out of it, they’d take off and it’d be a thing of the past.”

Domine says it’s too early to predict the yield impact. Sometimes beans are “dinged up” early from hail and will branch out and produce more yield than they would under normal circumstances, he says.

“I’m worried these are going to be so short they’ll be hard to harvest,” he adds. “If we don’t get the height to get them off the ground, a lot of those pods will be close to the ground.”

“We’ve got a lot of beat up soybeans because we didn’t have enough rain to break it down,” says Tracey Domine, who farms near Verona, N.D., in LaMoure County, in the southeast part of the state. He also runs Domine Sales and Service, a seed sales company that handles products from several companies.

Domine says his soybeans were planted May 10, and should have been knee-high to waist-high in late July, but instead were stunted and uneven in their development. Where 30-inch-wide corn rows had been in 2012, there was a bad row of beans in 2013, a “halfway decent” row of beans, and then another bad row of beans. The pattern follows the corn rows, or in areas with extra stalks and roots on the ground.

Hans Kandel, a North Dakota State University broadleaf crop agronomist, says he’s gotten “relatively more calls” about drought-related herbicide carryover, but it’s difficult to say whether it’s widespread. “It’s like an iceberg — you get a few calls, but how does that represent the whole situation? I don’t know,” he says.

Under normal moisture conditions, it isn’t an issue.

Hard to quantify

Rich Zollinger, a NDSU Extension Service weed specialist in Fargo, says if there’s any general trend on herbicide carryover, he hasn’t heard about it. Kaisa Kinzer, manager and plant diagnostician with the NDSU Plant Diagnostic Laboratory, says she hasn’t seen any significant up-tick in numbers of samples sent in for soybean diagnosis for herbicide carryover in 2013. She says she might have expected more, considering the 2012 drought.

Kinzer says the laboratory typically gets 700 plant diagnostic samples from the public in a season, and about half of those are for agricultural crops. She performs a visual diagnosis and about 10 percent of those samples typically involve herbicide problems — drift, misapplication and carryover. Some of this year’s soybean samples appear to have been affected by herbicide carryover, she says, but no more than other years. Carryover can be influenced by many things, including soil type, temperature, soil pH (acidity/alkalinity) organic matter and moisture, among other things.

Normal moisture fix

Domine doesn’t plan to change herbicides and thinks the answer is simply more fall moisture.

Domine used a herbicide designed to control a broad spectrum of grasses and broadleaf in herbicide-tolerant corn. The chemical offers a couple of modes of action to guard against weed resistance. He says he has talked to others who indicate the problem isn’t specific to only one product.

Domine initially thought someone had made an application error — perhaps too high a rate — but has confirmed that’s not the case.

“The chemical is carrying over into the stalks and the roots; it just didn’t break down,” Domine says. The beans were starting to flower in late July. Good fields of beans in the area were knee-high, while Domine’s beans were ankle-high.

“Even the ones that look decent are half-sick; they aren’t performing the way they should. I don’t think we’re going to see this come out of it. We were hoping they’d pop out of it, they’d take off and it’d be a thing of the past.”

Domine says it’s too early to predict the yield impact. Sometimes beans are “dinged up” early from hail and will branch out and produce more yield than they would under normal circumstances, he says.

“I’m worried these are going to be so short they’ll be hard to harvest,” he adds. “If we don’t get the height to get them off the ground, a lot of those pods will be close to the ground.”

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