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Soybean Harvest Late Season Management Guide

Soybean harvest often gets behind track due to heavy rains. Excessively wet weather results in moldy soybeans, elevator dockage and field losses across many seed brands. Compared to corn, soybeans are more delicate once maturity is reached. With alternating wet and dry weather patterns, soybeans are even more fragile.

Minimize soybean pod shatter
Although Golden Harvest soybeans are bred to withstand greater environmental stressors than ever before, there is still a chance of pod shatter under extremely wet weather conditions. When this happens, soybeans may drop and/or become exposed to the environment. Pathogen exposure can lead to mold and disease. To minimize elevator dockage, dry and market moldy soybeans as soon as possible. Avoid high temperatures when drying soybeans, since too much heat can crack the seed and hull. To reduce the chance of splitting seed coats from air-drying, relative humidity should be greater than 40%

Moldy soybean pods that have shattered due to excess rainfall pictured above.

Harvesting late-season soybeans
Harvesting late-season soybeans is especially challenging when fields receive too much moisture. Use the following strategies to help minimize soybean loss:
  • Wait until soil can support machinery: Hold on combining until the ground is dry enough that soil compaction won’t damage your field and continue reducing yields years later. 
  • Monitor moisture levels: Although soybeans can be harvested at a moisture of 20% or less, add 1.5% to the calculated rate. Moisture monitors often underestimate high moisture beans.
  • Combine carefully: Wet soybeans are tougher to cut, so make sure your header is sharp and reduce combine speed to harvest more uniformly.
  • Keep thorough harvest records: If getting elevator dockage for moldy soybeans is a concern, check with your seed supplier about potential damage discounts. 

Being aware of late soybean harvest challenges will help maximize return on contaminated crops. Contact your Golden Harvest Seed Advisor with questions or for additional agronomic insights.

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Syngenta hereby disclaims liability for third-party websites.

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