Rain is a good thing for farmers–but like anything, too much of it can be detrimental to soybeans at this stage of the growing period. This past weekend brought welcome rain showers in many parts of the province, but heavy rains caused flooding in some lower areas. In most places, the water infiltrated quickly into the dry ground; however, there remained standing water in some fields well after the end of the rain.
Soybeans can survive flooding, but there are a lot of variables that can determine the outcome. Temperature, cloud cover and growth stage all affect the survivability of flooded beans.
If there is enough cloud cover following a flood, the field will usually drain before there is a real problem. However, if the sun comes out too soon, it will encourage the plants to photosynthesize and use up the oxygen in the water too quickly. If the plants use up all of the oxygen from a flooded field’s standing water, they will effectively suffocate. Therefore, cloudy weather is much better following a flood–it gives the soil enough time to absorb all of the standing water before the plants can use up all of the available oxygen.
However, flooding of any field crop can still reduce yield, and it can also cause a number of diseases due to the wet conditions, many of them affecting the plants root system.