Phil Timpken, manager of Mid-Kansas Cooperative Association elevator in Peabody, estimates there was a 25 percent increase in the number of acres planted to soybeans this year.
“Yields are no comparison to last year, but they are good,” he said.
According to Lyman Adams, manager of Cooperative Grain and Supply, with headquarters in Hillsboro, yields on beans in his area vary from 20 to 35 bushels per acre.
“The heat really took its toll in August,” he said.
Many wheat fields were planted to beans after harvest, and those beans tend to yield somewhat less than earlier planted beans, adding to the yield spread.
In the Agri-Producers Inc. area in northern Marion County, farmers are reporting yields ranging from 15 to 40 bushels per acre, according to manager Stan Utting. He estimated harvest to be about half done.
The top price of beans in the county at 10 a.m. Friday was $11 a bushel. That compares with $8.80 on June 1, $9.25 on July 1, $10.05 on Aug. 1, and $9.70 on Oct. 1.
The cost of fertilizer also has gone up. A unit of nitrogen has increased from 40 cents in the spring to 50 cents at present, and a unit of phosphorus has increased from 37 cents to 51 cents. The cost of herbicides has dropped.
Observant travelers through the countryside may notice that plants in some soybean fields look taller than plants in other fields.
That may be because there are two classifications of soybeans, indeterminate and determinate.
Indeterminate soybeans continue to grow after they begin to flower, whereas determinate soybeans grow little if any after they begin to flower. Therefore, comparing varieties with similar maturity dates, indeterminate soybeans tend to be taller than determinate plants.
Pods are distributed evenly on the stems of indeterminate plants but tend to cluster near the top of determinate plants.