Driving across the northeastern part of the state it isn’t hard to spot fields that were intended for soybeans this growing season, but have unfortunately now become prevent plant acres. The only good news for the soybean grower in this situation is that the impact of leaving fallow acres may be less harmful than you think.
Leaving bare ground greatly increases the risk of soil erosion and fallow syndrome for the following crop year if the acre is going into corn. There is no special management required for soybeans following a fallow acre with the exception of weed control for the current year.
Weed management and controlling the weed seed bank for years to come will be the biggest concern. Look at your options for control and do what you can to prevent as many weeds as possible from going to seed. This includes mowing off fields as well as looking at fall burndown options. In the spring, keep the pedal down with overlapping residual herbicides to keep season-long control.
Keep in mind that if you have cover crops planted that do not winter-kill they need to be part of your weed control program for 2020 as well. Cover crops or even the standing corn stalks in the fields are providing some ground cover benefit and will help with erosion concerns, even though the corn stalks have begun to show some signs of breakdown at this point in the season. Fall tillage is not recommended for prevent plant fields going into soybeans for 2020.