Funded by the Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program.

April 2015

Agronomy: Meet Your Soy Envoy: Jack Hardwick

Hello, my name is Jack Hardwick and I am your Soybean Agronomist from Crop District 6. I was born and raised in Beardstown, Ill., on a grain farm located in the Illinois River Valley.  I graduated from Beardstown High School in 2000 and received a B.S. degree in Plant and Soil Science from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale in 2004.  I spent the first three years out of college working as a Crop Specialist for Sunrise Ag FS based in Mason County, Illinois, where I was exposed to a variety of grain crops as well as vegetable production.  I then [...]

By |April 29, 2015|

Agronomy: Checklist for Planter Maintenance and Setup

Even though the snow is falling here this evening, it is time to check the planter. Here is a list of suggestions for plantersetup and maintenance. Check meters on a test stand in order to visually inspect parts and evaluate performance. Inspect all mechanical drive components and look for any excessive wear including down pressure springs, parallel linkages and bushings. Check seed tubes for any wear in particular the bottom section that can wear or become damaged.  Replace if damaged or has excessive wear. Check size, wear and spacing for opening discs; always replace disc openers in pairs. Inspect gauge wheels and ensure [...]

By |April 29, 2015|

Agronomy: Soybean Planting Considerations

In the next few weeks growers across Illinois will start planting their soybeans. Planting soybeans at the right time, right depth and under the right soil conditions gives growers the best opportunity to get their crop out of the ground quickly, establish a vigorous crop stand and have a jump-start on reaching their yield goal. Soybean growers have already made their most important soybean decision: what variety and maturity group to plant. But there are other factors growers should consider before planting starts. Growers sometimes pay less attention to seeding soybeans than corn. Seed is cheaper, beans are less [...]

By |April 29, 2015|

Disease: Soil Pathogens Are a Constant Menace

You are investing a lot of money in the soybean seed you buy today and you expect the variety to yield in return. But to realize the yield you expect, you first have to the give each and every seed a fighting chance to emerge and produce a healthy seedling that will mature into a pod-bearing plant. And soil-borne pathogens are your nemesis. When considering all the stresses that soybeans incur during the season it is remarkable how well they do in Illinois. From the day of germination until yellowing, soil-borne pathogens are nibbling on plant roots and attacking [...]

By |April 29, 2015|

Agronomy: Producing 100 Bushel Soybeans

So you want to grow 100 bushel soybeans this year? Either you can get lucky or put together the right team. Producing 100 bushel soybeans isn’t unheard of and it has been accomplished multiple times, but it takes some planning and the right weather to achieve it. In 2015, Dan Arkels from LaSalle County won ISA’s 100 bushel challenge with a verified yield of 103.9 bushels per acre. There were several other reports in Illinois last year of 100 bushels but they weren’t necessarily verified by an independent party. Hitting 100 bushel soybean yield is a substantial achievement if [...]

By |April 29, 2015|

Agronomy: Tweaking Planting Depth

The standard soybean planting depth has been about 1.5 inches for a long time now. But recent data published in the last couple of years show that soybeans can be planted deeper, and that is a benefit. Last spring (2014) Jim Specht, retired professor at the University of Nebraska, released results from his three year study which showed that 1.75 inches was the optimal depth regardless of soil conditions, planting date, population or tillage system. When I looked at his raw data, I felt that the depth ranged anywhere from 1.75 to 2 inches. The agronomic theory holds that [...]

By |April 28, 2015|

Agronomy: Meet Your Soy Envoy: Bill Orr

Hello, my name is Bill Orr. I am the owner of Agronomic Insights in Reddick, Illinois. Agronomic Insights is an independent crop consulting company that sells Pioneer seed, does GPS-based soil testing and crop scouting. I enjoy working with growers to solve problems and help them improve their production practices. Soybeans seem to be unique because increasing yield hasn’t been as easy as it has been for corn. And it comes down to priority and focus. Why do corn get all the attention and soybeans seem to be ignored? Some growers don’t treat soybeans as a priority for high [...]

By |April 27, 2015|

Agronomy: Meet Your Soy Envoy: Wade Meteer

Hello, my name is Wade Meteer and I am your soybean Envoy from Crop District 4. I like crops that  are self-sufficient. Maybe that’s why I like soybeans so much – they are self-reliant and adaptable just like we have to be if we are going to survive in farming. I was born and raised on a grain farm near Athens, Illinois, about 20 miles north of Springfield.  As far back as I can remember I have had a passion for farming, and growing up on the farm, I always knew I would pursue a career in agriculture.  I received both [...]

By |April 24, 2015|

Weeds: PODCAST: Controlling Palmer amaranth

Palmer amaranth is becoming more of a problem in many parts of Illinois. In this podcast, Jonathan Perkins, Southern Illinois practical farm research location director and team sales agronomist for Beck’s Superior Hybrids, explains the challenge created by Palmer amaranth and what farmers can do to keep the weed under control in 2015. LAUNCH AUDIO >>

By |April 24, 2015|
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