Assessing Hail Damage on Soybeans

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If half the original (before the hail) leaf area remains after the hail, the soybeans have a reasonable chance of recovering. If they do recover, they will likely be a more profitable crop than what a farmer can replant, unless the remaining stand is below half what (s)he intended.

Each soybean plant will tell you in 3 to 5 days whether it is likely to recover. If new growth emerges, it will have a good chance of recovering. It means the plant had enough plant food reserves to get the next leaf out, and that was the lower leaves’ primary job anyway.

The unknown is the bruises on the plant. If the weather is warm and dry, the bruises will most likely be of little to no consequence. If the weather is wet and cool, one or more fungus diseases may become established in the bruise, and spread, weakening the stem further. Experience tells me that more soybean plants will probably recover and produce a respectable crop than most farmers thought would.