Freeze damage to soybeans and harvest options

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

Freezing temperatures wilted leaves and killed soybeans in some fields across Kentucky. Now that temperatures have warmed up again, we can better determine how to manage the crop from here.

The vast majority of soybeans were done growing and seeds were in the process of drying down. Those plants were at full maturity where the leaves had dropped, the pods were brown or tan and the seeds were yellow instead of green. Seed moisture was less than 20%. For those soybeans, the freeze events delayed drydown a little but did not harm the plants or the yield.

A few fields of soybeans were planted very late (into mid or late-July) and those soybeans were not as developed at the freeze event. The soybeans in these images were planted late, but they were dropping leaves and the pods were already bronze instead of green. Seeds in these pods were yellow-green instead of green. These seeds had reached full weight and had just started to dry down when the freeze hit.

The freeze most likely will slow down the drying process in this field. The farmer will have to decide between a much later harvest or harvesting wetter seeds earlier. 

If the pods and/or soybeans were green at the freeze event, then the seeds may not ever dry down properly. If there was a lot of viable green material at the time of the freeze events, these soybeans could be candidates for silage, depending on whole plant moisture. Consultation with an animal nutritionist should occur before trying to make silage from soybeans.

Our friends further north deal with freeze events on soybeans on a more regular basis. They have some really good information on this topic.

How to Manage Frost-Damaged Soybeans (Michigan State)
Effect of Freezing on Soybean Seed Yield and Composition (Wisconsin)
Odds my Soybean Crop will mature before a killing frost hits (Wisconsin)
Assessing Frost Damage in Soybeans (North Dakota State)

Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...

Comments (0) Leave a comment 

e-Mail (required)


characters left

Tube Series (TS) Conveyors

USC’s Tube Series Conveyors combine the gentleness of the signature Seed Series with the traditional stability of a tube-style conveyor, ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form