CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — University of Illinois crop physiologist Fred Below says the heat has not been a significant problem for soybeans.

“Just like corn, Stu, heat and drought go hand in hand,” Below said. “And when the soybean crop is hot, guess what, it uses more water. And that’s what the major problem is. Soybean is a warm season crop. It likes the heat. Here’s the good news. We’re not making the yield yet. Now, we are trying to close the canopy, and the quicker we can close the canopy the better, and just like corn, when soybean is heat or drought stressed, it slows down, takes the day off, tries to conserve what moisture it has. If I had my way, I’d have this crop close the canopy by the June 21. A lot of cases its not going to do that. But the soybean plant has a great opportunity to recover, because its not going to make its yield until August.”

Stu: So, the main thing is not having the leaf out there to intercept light, and grow, and at that point, be ready for August.

“We tell people, plant soybean earlier, so we can close the canopy by the longest day, but of course, when its hot, it’s not growing, and it’s not going to close that canopy,” Below said. “We have soybean that is planted at the end of May, and that stuff has barely got two leaves on it. And we’re having a lot of light hit the ground. And these dry and hot temperatures are not helping us any in that regard, but that soybean crop is pretty versatile, and it has an opportunity to branch, make leaves, and produce its yield later in August.”

Stu: So, not a whole lot we’re going to worry about regarding soybeans and the heat, other than just not being able to grow fast enough.

“I am more worried about the heat on the corn, than I am on the soybean, because it makes its yield over a much longer time period,” Below said.

That’s our report from the farm, I’m Stu Ellis with WCIA-3, your local news leader.