Recent rains a ?godsend? for soybeans and corn

Soybeans in the area, including this field south of Hillsboro, is taking off after recent rains. Don Ratzlaff / Free Press

?That last big rain was a godsend?million dollar rains is what I call them!?

Marion County Agricul?tural Extension Agent Rickey Roberts said the importance of the 21?2-inch general rain a week ago can hardly be overemphasized.

One of the issue in regard to the soybean crop was that some farmers started planting soybeans, but were interrupted by rains that forced them wait until fields were dry enough to continue planting.

In many cases, the first beans had already sprouted and were developing when the ones planted later in the same fields were just germinating.

Would the late beans reduce yields in a similar fashion to the way second-crop soybeans planted after wheat harvest usually aren?t expected to yield as much as spring-planted beans?

?At this point, I?m generally optimistic for all the (fall) crops,? Roberts said. ?The bigger question for beans is not when they?re planted, but how much time they will have to grow before we get fall frost??

An early frost in Septem?ber could stop plant development too soon for optimum yields, he said, while a late October frost could allow beans to maximize the yield.

?And look at that corn,? he added. ?We?re likely to have a good corn crop.?

If the county continues to get rain on a regular basis without floods or hail, Roberts said, farmers could enjoy the best fall harvest they?ve had for some time.

?At this point in time, I?m pretty optimistic for all the fall crops. The cool weather with the rain has been great for them, too,? he said.

As if to emphasize his point, more rain began falling Friday morning, although temperatures were predicted to approach triple digits later in the weekend and into the current week.

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