Excess Rain Calls for Field Scouting

Farmers are always at the mercy of nature and this spring has been nothing less. With much of Minnesota getting 3 – 4 inches of rain in a week, farmers need to be aware of the potential threat excess rain has in soybean fields.

Seth Naeve, an extension agronomist for the University of Minnesota, who also focuses on soybean management, said that waterlogging in the soil and early season diseases can result after substantial rainfall.

“Farmers need to be alert as to what is going on in their fields,” Naeve said. “Once the soil dries, it is important to scout your fields and identify any symptoms or where plants are dying.”

Dean Malvick, an extension plant pathologist for the University of Minnesota, is particularly concerned with several diseases that have already been confirmed in Minnesota soybean fields.

“Root and stem rot are starting to appear in fields,” Malvick said. “Scouting is especially important to confirm these diseases and understand what is happening in your field and why counts may be down.”

Malvick is also concerned about disease in late summer.

“Farmers should also be aware of Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) during late July and early August,” he said. “These saturated conditions are favorable for SDS.”

Even though diagnosing diseases may not be beneficial for this planting season, it will be helpful in the future.

“Awareness is key,” Naeve said. “Diagnosing now will bring better control in years ahead.”