March 20, 2023

Arkansas soybean farmers get pleasure from banner yr in 2022

Arkansas largest crop, soybeans, had a banner yr in 2022. Farmers harvested 3.15 million acres, up almost 140,000 acres from 2021, in keeping with the U.S. Division of Agriculture. Yield from these acres is projected to high 53 bushels per acre, a state document.

In 2021, the state’s soybean crop was valued at greater than $1.94 billion, in keeping with the 2022 Arkansas Agriculture Profile, and final yr’s crop may strategy $2 billion in worth.

However there are points that ought to be regarding to farmers says Jeremy Ross, extension soybean agronomist for the College of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. Potassium deficiency in Arkansas’ most useful row crop is turning into extra prevalent within the state.

The deficiency is hardly noticeable from visible inspection. An correct analysis requires tissue samples to be analyzed.

“We’re going to be encouraging soybean farmers extra subsequent yr to ship in tissue samples to check potassium ranges in soybean vegetation and make the most of the free instruments out there by the Division of Agriculture for potassium suggestions,” Ross mentioned.

Whereas nitrogen fertilizer is commonly the point of interest of most row crop methods, potassium deficiency is the first limitation affecting soybean profitability, in keeping with Trenton Roberts, professor of crop, soil and environmental sciences for the Division of Agriculture. Soybeans get hold of most of their nitrogen by a symbiotic relationship with soil microbes known as organic nitrogen fixation.

Two instruments developed by the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, the analysis arm of the Division of Agriculture, embody the profit-maximizing potash charge calculator and data on dynamic essential tissue potassium focus thresholds. The potassium charge estimation software is offered on the Choice Assist Software program web site. Roberts mentioned the essential tissue potassium focus thresholds can be found upon request from a Cooperative Extension agent. He’s working to have the data out there on-line. Roberts mentioned the instruments assist decide when, the place, and the way a lot fertilizer to use.

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Whereas the excessive warmth and drought put a pressure on irrigation, the dry situations suppressed illness strain and led to a sooner harvest, which allowed many farmers extra time to organize their fields for subsequent yr’s planting season. Pending the spring climate, that might assist them plant soybean crops sooner subsequent yr, Ross mentioned.

“A vibrant spot this yr was that we acquired harvested faster than previously a number of years,” Ross mentioned. “A giant drawback with the drought this summer season was that the Mississippi River acquired too low to ship grain. A number of the elevators acquired full, so storage was in excessive demand.”

Insect strain from bollworms and corn earworms was evident in lots of areas of the state, and stink bugs had been plentiful, Ross mentioned. The red-banded stink bug reappeared in droves this yr, he added, which known as for extra spraying.

Palmer amaranth “pigweed” and ryegrass are gaining resistance to frequent herbicides in soybean fields, he added. A mix of 4 herbicides is now really useful to regulate the weeds, however 5 may very well be essential inside a couple of years to fight rising resistance, he mentioned.

Root-knot nematodes additionally continued to be a significant issue in Arkansas soybean fields. In response to information from the Crop Safety Community financial losses to soybean crops in Arkansas from root-knot nematode elevated 180% from 2011 to 2021. The community’s information, compiled from farmer enter, present that root-knot nematode created a 4% yield lack of soybean crops within the state final yr –– over 6.6 million bushels valued at over $84.6 million. Soybean cyst nematode broken about $10.5 million in Arkansas soybeans in 2021.

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Fiona Goggin, professor of entomology on the experiment station, continues researching a technique to ship immune-boosting peptides in soybean vegetation to guard them from root-knot and soybean cyst nematodes. Whereas there are a number of nematode-resistant cultivars that Arkansas growers can select from, none can management all strains of soybean cyst nematode and root-knot nematode concurrently, Goggin mentioned. The nematodes trigger comparable harm to the plant however are genetically totally different.

Different challenges in 2022 included enter prices on gasoline and chemical substances. A wide range of international financial elements contributed to the excessive demand and prices, together with inflation, the conflict in Ukraine, and China’s “blue sky” initiative put in place earlier than internet hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics in February. China, a key provider of urea, sulfate and phosphate to the worldwide market, curbed fertilizer exports late in 2021 earlier than internet hosting the winter video games.

“Gasoline costs had been elevated in comparison with the previous few years, and fertilizer prices had been virtually double,” Ross mentioned. “Herbicide, insecticide, and fungicide costs had been additionally up together with the demand. Making an attempt to get merchandise was a wrestle generally in the course of the yr as a result of the co-ops couldn’t get them.”

A class 4 hurricane that hit Louisiana in late August 2021 led to the most important glyphosate facility within the nation to close down till mid-October 2021, and there was harm to grain elevators on the Gulf Coast that impacted fertilizer availability in 2022, Ross mentioned.

Farmers have been rising soybeans within the Pure State for a few century. The state ranks within the high 10 amongst soybeans producing states, in keeping with the Arkansas Soybean Board.

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