Soybean crop overcomes early frost

October 14th, 2011


Category: Oilseeds

(Twin Cities Pioneer Press)– Remember that early frost on Sept. 15, which seemed so harmful to Minnesota’s $4 billion soybean crop? On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture shrugged it off, suggesting the cold snap produced no widespread damage.

In a crop production report, the USDA forecast Minnesota’s soybean yields at 41 bushels an acre – the exact forecast made a month earlier, before the frost hit.

Still, the 2011 growing season was frustrating for many soybean farmers. Soybean prices are high and farmers are eager to cash in, but yields will be down from last year because of the combination of a wet spring, an August drought and the mid-September frost.

“Certainly the frost is more visual, but I think it was the drought that did the damage,” said Seth Naeve, a University of Minnesota soybean specialist. “It’s pretty disappointing. It’s what people are seeing out there, and I think people are disappointed with the yields.”

Naeve on Tuesday examined some of the university’s soybean plots, which did suffer frost damage. But even there, the real impact wasn’t the frost.

“But it just drove home that it was really the drought that affected our yields, and the frost might have nipped it a little bit,” he said.

— Tom Webb




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