2010 Soybean Seasonal Summary

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Planting
  3. Growing Season
  4. Soybean Pests and Diseases
  5. Harvest
  6. Challenges and Opportunities for 2011

Technical information can be obtained at the OMAFRA Field Crops Webpage and Crop Pest Ontario. Referenced OMAFRA Publications include the Agronomy Guide for Field Crops (Publication 811), the Field Crop Protection Guide (Publication 812), Guide to Weed Control (Publication 75), and Ontario Weeds (Publication 505). These can be obtained from your OMAFRA Resource Centre, or by calling 1-800-668-9938.


Soybeans were the largest row crop in the province again in 2010 with about 2.4 million acres seeded. For the most part this has been one of the most favourable growing seasons in recent memory. Some areas did receive too little moisture while others received too much. The majority of the province was affected by a dry August which robbed yield potential. Many areas of the province saw the soybean crop mature 2 weeks earlier than normal; this allowed for harvest to begin in September, especially for those that were able to plant early. Yields were higher than average and in some cases were outstanding. 2010 will likely be a record yielding crop for Ontario once all the yields have been reported.


The 2010 spring was favourable for timely planting as some fields were planted in the last week of April and the first two weeks of May, but the majority of seeding took place during the last two weeks of the month. Short periods of rain during May delayed planting for some areas, but for the most part the delays were not extended. Soil moisture was good through the planting season, and seeding depths of 1.0" were not uncommon.

Growing Season

For much of the province the growing season was excellent. There were few issues with emergence because the soil was warm and moist and allowed for easy breakthrough to the surface. There was a significant frost on May 10th but most planted fields had not fully emerged and reseeding was minimal. Timely rains went along with a hot June and July, precisely what soybeans need. Soybeans will maximize their yields in these types of conditions. A tremendous number of flowers were observed this year. In some cases over 10 open flowers could be counted on a single node. These good growing conditions led to large plants which in some cases resulted in lodging. Plant development was ahead of normal by up to 2 weeks. Some areas, such as Bruce County, received too much moisture and there were areas with standing water. Meanwhile, other regions to the south, such as Lambton County, received insufficient moisture during critical times of the growing season. This resulted in lower yields. The majority of Ontario experienced a hot and dry August, which is a critical time for pod setting and seed filling. This resulted in yield losses compared to the potential that was set in June and July. Green stem disorder could be observed at harvest time largely due to this rapid dry down and excess plant size compared to the number of seeds.

Soybean Pests and Diseases

Soybean pest and disease levels were lower than normal. Some aphids were reported in the Eastern Ontario, but numbers never reached economic thresholds. The rest of the province did not see significant aphid numbers.

Even with the warm, moist weather, along with advanced plant development and lush canopies, disease losses were lower than might have been expected. White mould was present but not at high levels.

Septoria Brown Spot was prevalent again this year but it is not considered a disease that causes much yield loss. Sudden Death Syndrome was observed in areas to the south because of dry conditions and traditionally higher levels of Soybean Cyst Nematode.

IP Soybeans continue to need effective early season weed management to assure quality at harvest time. Eastern Black Nightshade berries caused problems for some IP growers.


Harvest progressed well, especially in late September and early October. Due to early planting, a good growing season, and advanced plant development, harvest was able to get under way earlier than normal. A couple weeks of wet weather at the end of October delayed finishing harvest until November. Yields were reported from as low as 28 bushels in dry areas to as high as 70 bushels in areas with good moisture. Even with the dry weather during pod set and seed fill in August most areas achieved above average yields.

Challenges and Opportunities for 2011

Although Ontario soybean growers enjoyed a respite from disease and insect problems this growing season, these problems will need continued management in the future. One of the best management strategies to fight pests and diseases is to have a good crop rotation. Soybeans should only be grown one in three years if possible. Residue management, crop rotation and spray programs will all need to be ready for implementation should the need arise next season.

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca