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September 14

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general viewThe leaves continue to turn yellow and fall from the plants. That's normal. This week the nights have started to cool down, but the days have been around 90 F. This area of the field has the greenest leaves: over the ridge the plants are almost completely yellow. Click here to see how much the color has changed  from one month ago.
general rowOur row has really turned colors since Monday! Plants in this row are still ahead of surrounding plants. If it were to freeze in the next few days the leaves would turn yellow even faster. You can see one plant in the middle has lost most of its leaves -- that's our second plant that we have watched all summer.
first plantOur first plant doesn't have any solid-green leaves left now. All of them are some shade of yellow. The pods are not quite as green either.

second plantHere's our second plant with just a few lower leaves still attached and you can see that most of the pods are turning brown or tan. This plant is at the R7 stage. The R7 stage is when you can see a pod that has turned its mature color. This plant probably was at that stage a couple days ago. But this plant is the only one in the row that is at the R7 stage. If all plants were at this stage, a rain would be of no value to them. So, we can say an R7 plant is at physiological maturity and no more dry weight will be added to the plant. 
a green pod and a tan podHere are two pods from the same plant. The top pod is still green, while the other pod is tan. That's not unusual to see pods of different colors on the same plant. Let's look at the beans inside.

beans in green pod still green while beans in mature pod turning yellowWell, that's interesting. The beans in the green pod are still green, however they are losing their color and the beans in the mature pod have turned yellow and have shrunk. This is normal. The yellow beans still have a high moisture content  -- about 50 to 60 percent moisture. I bet you are wondering what would happen if you planted these soybean seeds in a pot right now. Would they grow? Yes, they would. For practical purposes these seeds (beans) are mature, we're just waiting for the rest of the pods to turn tan and the beans inside to turn yellow and dry to a safe, harvestable moisture content. 

insect chewing on a pod and stemWe caught an insect in the act of chewing on a pod and the stem. You've seen this one before ... it's the bean leaf beetle. You'll remember we said it would eat leaves, but as you can see it also feeds on pods.

Soybean Scene

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