These images of flooding look familiar to you?
June has been a very rainy month in southwest Illinois. We will need to replant many of the low lying areas, as you see in the above pictures. This flooding along Shoal Creek is the second time water covered these fields in three weeks. Raccoon Creek and many others could not handle the continuous pounding of rain. One CCA in St. Clair County thought planted soybean acreage was only at 50% by the 4th week of June. Here in Clinton County I would estimate near 80%. There are a few growers throwing in the towel and going to file for prevented planting. It has been a stressful month.
Soybean Growth: The tallest soybeans in the area are at the 5 to 6 trifoliate stage. Some of these fields look good from the road, but walking them gives you a much better feel. Compaction, soil diseases and lack of oxygen and other nutrients in the soil is evident. Most fields are only in the 2 to 3 trifoliate stage. These fields were seeded in wet (sometimes muddy) soil conditions, most in the first two weeks of June. Luckily, overhead clouds and continual rain kept the soil from crusting and allowed the seed to emerge. However, compaction is still a looming threat as it may impact root development.
Weed Pressure: We have weed issues for several reasons: 1. Limited herbicide application windows due to frequent rains; 2. Residues of herbicides that were pre-applied have been washed down through the soil and are no longer available at a high enough dosage in the weed seed germination zone; and 3. Translocating herbicides are too slow to work because of poor growing conditions. Waterhemp is the number one problem, along with grasses and resistant marestail.
Wheat Has Been Challenged: I estimate 70% of the wheat has been harvested and double-crop soybeans are about to be planted. The wheat yields I have heard are in the 60 to 75 bu/A range, but test weight is low and vomitoxin levels are high. If conditions are good I expect double-crop soybeans will be planted very soon. Generally, growers here will plant soybeans until as late as July 10th. I have seen some soybean yields in the 40 bu/A range when planted into soils in good condition as early as June 22. Of course, Mother Nature needs to bless us with summer rain and a late frost once the soybeans get planted.