Our field is still hanging on. These windy days really cause
the plants to use more moisture, especially if it is hot and that can cause the plants
to wilt. So far our field has avoided that.
You can now see pods on plants in our row without much trouble. As I
mentioned last time, our soybeans are not going to get any taller because they have
reached the R5 stage. In fact, the plants will start losing lower leaves soon.
Our first plant certainly appears to be putting on more pods than I had originally
thought. They seem to be developing seed inside the pods. Did you notice the holes
in the leaves? Do you think this level of insect feeding will cause yield reductions?
If you said "no" you are correct. This is only minor feeding and won't cause any problems.
Our second plant has
considerably more pods than our first plant and it appears to be
in good shape. Let's look at some of the pods in more detail and talk about the R5 stage.
This pod is from one of the four uppermost nodes and is at about the R5.5 stage.
R5.5 means that the seed has filled half of the seed capsule. At the R5.5 stage the
plant has reached it's maximum height and total number of leaves. nitrogen fixation
(in the roots) has maxed-out and will start to decline now. The seeds are starting
a rapid increase in nutrient and dry matter (weight) accumulation. Also, this is
the period of peak daily water use. In short, we are in the period of soybean
development when it uses and needs the most water.
This pod is still in the R5 stage, but it is nearly at the R6 stage, or the
full-bean stage. This pod came from the same plant as the last pod, but lower on the
stem. Remember, pods lower on the stem are older and further developed than pods from
the upper nodes.