Each day we watch the soybean markets jump $.20 up and $.20 down, but at $13.00/Bu soybeans, many people are asking, “How can we get more bushels per acre from this crop?” Many of the decisions for top yield have already been made; planting date, seeding rate, planting depth and early season weed control. All these factors will influence your ultimate yield, but there are still things you can do to protect that yield.
One critical thing you can do to your soybeans is protect them with a fungicide and insecticide in July. Typically, it is recommended to apply these products during the R3 growth stage. This stage of soybean growth is identified as at least one pod at one of the four uppermost nodes on the plant that is 3/16” long. Fungicide and insecticide applications are often made as a preemptive strike against diseases and pests entering a soybean field. Once that disease has set in, you will likely see yield loss, but that is a hard thing to measure.
It can be a hard trigger to pull for many producers, but with bean values as strong as they are and with relatively good weather predicted for the month, it sends a strong message to continue to invest in your crop. There are many options for fungicides and insecticides on the market and your local agronomist will be your best bet to tackle this decision. They know the local disease and insect pressures and can come scout your fields to determine the best course of action.