Inconsistencies in soybean grading last year led the state’s soybean industry to take steps to educate producers and grain elevator staff on how to determine the kind and amount of damage soybeans have. Industry supporters developed the Mississippi Soybean Producer’s Field Guide to Soybean Damage as a handy, pocket reference for producers.

These educational tools were funded and organized by a group effort. Supporters were Mississippi Farm Bureau, the Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board, the Mississippi State University Extension Service, Delta Council and the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce.

“Growers may benefit the most from the guide because it displays color pictures of the most common types of factors resulting in damage to our soybean crop on an annual basis,” says Trey Koger, Mississippi Extension soybean specialist.

The field guide displays a chart showing the requirements for the four soybean grades. The remaining pages of the hardback, notebook-style field guide lists nine types of damage with photos and written descriptions. Anyone using the field guide can find information on and pictures of weather, heat, mold, stinkbug or fungus damage, along with a brief description of the damage.

“This is not new information to the producers, but no one has ever developed a guide that shows the common types of damage to soybeans and pictures of the different types of damage,” Koger says. “I don’t think the guide will alter the way we grow or manage our soybean crop, but it will allow the producers to see the types of damage that hurts our soybean crop every year so they hopefully will have a little better understanding of what is actually causing damage and dockage at the elevators.”

Contact Mississippi State University Extension Service for a copy of this field guide.