Anecdotal information from flooding occurring in Mississippi in 2009 indicates that soybean fields that have reached full maturity (R8) at the time of flooding were found to have less damage than fields that were not yet fully mature (less than R7). Bruce Potter has, so far, noted little loss from fields that were at R8 at the time of flooding and where ponded water receded in a few days. Significant lodging and loss is present where heavy stream flooding occurred.


Management: The only management considerations that are open to producers at this very late date may be harvest timing and logistics. Rather than waiting for wet spots, harvesting the non-flooded portions of fields first will speed harvest, minimize wear and tear on equipment and keep water damaged soybeans separated from good quality grain.


Farmers should harvest and store soybeans from flooded areas separately from areas that were not flooded. Because damage levels are difficult to estimate and thresholds and allowances provided by grain elevators are unknown, it is critically important that producers not mix damaged soybeans with clean ones. Do not be tempted to blend off a few bushels of damaged soybeans with a whole bin of good ones. The risks are simply too great.


Another reason to harvest flooded areas separately is related to crop insurance. It is important that producers clearly document these flooded areas so that insurance or disaster relief assistance claims may be made a later date. Isolating these flooded areas is the best means to document losses from these heavy rains. Again, please harvest and store flooded soybean acres separately. This is the best means available to minimize your risks.