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Eastern North Dakota soybeans look promising, despite late planting date

Though the soybeans in Casselton, North Dakota, were planted later than normal, the crop appears to be doing better than anticipated.

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Justice Keefauver, sales agronomist with Maple River Grain and Agronomy, says that despite a late planting date, the soybean crop is doing well. Photo taken Sept. 20, 2022, in Casselton, North Dakota.
Emily Beal / Agweek
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CASSELTON, N.D. — Though it got off to a rocky start due to excessive moisture and a late planting start date, the soybean crop in Casselton is looking surprisingly good.

“Locally, we are set up for a pretty good crop. I think there is a lot of optimism out in the countryside with farmers, and we’re excited to see what we can accomplish this fall,” said Justice Keefauver, sales agronomist for Maple River Grain and Agronomy.

He attributes the steamy summer days as one of the reasons that the soybean crop was able to play catch up despite getting into the ground later than a typical year. The growing degree days were invaluable and plentiful, according to Keefauver, who said the area is 200 growing degree units above normal.

Early on in the growing season, the soybean crop was sprayed for grasshoppers, as the pests were taking a toll on the beans. In addition, there was iron deficiency chlorosis present in the fields as well as white mold.

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Justice Keefauver says that soybeans in the Casselton, North Dakota, area battled grasshopers, white mold and iron deficiency chlorosis. Photo taken Sept. 20, 2022.
Emily Beal / Agweek

“We run into issues on fields where we have the instance of white mold pockets, definitely a yield robber, as we get into the fall here. It’s something to be aware of,” Keefauver said.

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Keefauver estimates that producers will be combining their soybean acres in the area by the end of September. He also anticipates a quality yield.

“Locally, typically, guys are happy with 45 to 55 bushel beans. We set the stage up. Well, now that we're moving into harvest, I think we're going to hit some yield goals locally. I think we have the potential of a crop where guys could hit some record yields in some fields,” he said.

Though harvest has yet to commence, Keefauver said it is never too early for producers to start thinking about next year’s crop, specifically what seed varieties they want to plant in their acres. While he said it has always been a good idea to think about seed choices early, it is even more important now due to supply chain issues plaguing almost all industries. He also stresses the importance of soil testing acres before planting begins, to make sure that the soil has all the minerals and nutrients needed to grow a high quality crop.

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Justice Keefauver says that farmers in the Casselton, North Dakota, area could achieve record yields this harvest with their soybean acres. Photo taken Sept. 20, 2022.
Emily Beal / Agweek

“With supply and seed size issues in today’s world as well as every input, earlier decision making is becoming more crucial than ever,” Keefauver said.

Emily grew up on a small grains and goat farm in southern Ohio. After graduating from The Ohio State University, she moved to Fargo, North Dakota to pursue a career in ag journalism with Agweek. She enjoys reporting on livestock and local agricultural businesses.
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