By Don Molino, The Voice of Louisiana Agriculture Radio Network
LSU AgCenter Soybean Specialist Dr. Todd Spivey reports the crop was looking really good before all the rains fell and harvest should have already started.
“Timing of defoliation applications is critical to avoid yield loss,” said Spivey. “When you see the leaves first starting to turn yellow we’ll periodically begin checking plants across the field and collecting pods from the first four nodes.”
Farmers should open those pods and look for the separation of the seed from the white membrane inside the pod.
“When the seed is separated from this membrane that means they’ve reached physiological maturity and these beans will no longer increase in size, meaning it’s safe to remove the leaves without any yield loss,” according to Spivey.
Any harvest aid application before this point will reduce yields.
Spivey said the ideal growth stage is R6.5.
“This doesn’t necessarily mean go for it,” says Spivey, “but it does mean you’re no longer going to hurt yourself.”