Funded by the Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program.

September 2016

Agronomy: Yield Challenge Update From Dan Arkels

Dan Arkels, 2015 100 Bushel Challenge Winner, provides an update on his 2016 Yield Challenge field. Aside from insect pressure from bean leaf beetles and Japanese beetles, he explains that this has been an ideal growing season. There were adequate rains, minimal disease and estimates indicate that yield for this field will be between 125 and 155 bushels/acre. Watch the video below to learn more.

By |September 30, 2016|

Agronomy: Dicamba Misapplication – Or how I learned to love crinkled beans!

In my time as a Soy Envoy for the past two growing seasons I have attempted to give advice in an unbiased way, trying not to let my personal opinions come through too much. I just want to present facts as I have seen them and leave the soapbox in the closet. Well, that is going to end today! We have been hearing for two months about the damage done to off-target crops in the south by the off-label misapplication of dicamba on tolerant soybeans and cotton. Now whether I think dicamba is the cure-all for our weed resistance [...]

By |September 30, 2016|

Agronomy: Weekly Outlook: Too Early to Sell the 2017 Soybean Crop?

Soybean prices during the last five months of the 2015-16 marketing year averaged much higher than during the first seven months of the year. For example, the average daily bid price at central Illinois locations was $8.67 during the first seven months and $10.28 during the last five months of the year. Those daily prices ranged from $8.40 on March 1, 2016 to $11.58 on June 30, 2016. Through the first half of the 2015-16 marketing year, the soybean market traded on the basis of prospective year ending stocks of U.S soybeans of 450 to 460 million bushels. The [...]

By |September 27, 2016|

Plant and Soil Health: Summary of Illinois Soil Tests Shows Potential Loss of Yields

Agronomists and growers need to be aware soil test levels for phosphorus and potassium are declining, as today’s high yields are drawing down more than is being supplied. With the assistance and cooperation of numerous private and public soil testing laboratories, the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) periodically summarizes soil test levels in North America (NA). Soil tests indicate the relative capacity of soil to provide nutrients to plants. The latest summary was for over 725,000 soil samples collected in 2015, including fields from Illinois. Therefore, this summary can be viewed as an indicator of the nutrient-supplying capacity or [...]

By |September 23, 2016|

Agronomy: Field Day Recap: Piecing Together the Yield Puzzle

This post highlights material covered in a breakout session sponsored by BASF at the recent ILSoyAdvisor Field Days. To see other posts in this Field Days recap series, click here.  Choosing the right soybean planting date, maturity group, and planting population is like piecing together a puzzle. Because every year is different, it’s important to adjust your pieces each year to find the best fit. Planting early, in good soil conditions, should be common practice. We’re now learning that these factors interact with maturity groups and planting populations as well. The trick is determining how to best match early [...]

By |September 22, 2016|

Agronomy: A Happy Soybean is a Healthy Soybean

What makes a healthy soybean plant? It’s about what you both see and don’t see. When you want to produce a high-yield crop, pay close attention to plant health. When I think about soybean health I sit back and think about my own health. A lot of things go into my staying healthy, just as a lot of things go into keeping our soybeans healthy. When I think of keeping a young child healthy I think about vaccinations helping ward off diseases that we know can be a problem. I compare that to when we treat soybeans. We put [...]

By |September 21, 2016|

Agronomy: A New Soybean Record

I have to acknowledge there is a new national soybean record and it was in Georgia, not necessarily a soybean-friendly environment like Central Illinois. We now have an official soybean yield record on a field scale—171.8 bushels—achieved by Randy Dowdy in Georgia. It surpasses the 2010 record of 160.6 bushels set by Kip Cullers in Missouri. Dowdy’s yield was verified on August 29th, 2016, by the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. In a local press release Jared Whitaker, Extension Agronomist with the University of Georgia, said “This undoubtedly is an astonishing feat and my personal congratulations are extended to [...]

By |September 19, 2016|

Agronomy: Part 2: What do you feel is the biggest challenge in raising soybeans?

Last month I switched things up and posed this question to some of my customers (twice) with the general consensus that weed control is the #1 challenge when raising soybeans and then received a myriad of responses on the #2 challenge. Therefore, I am going to address some of these other challenges. They are in no particular order of importance. “LibertyLink® is working well, but now crop injury from the PRE’s is an issue." I must admit, I do not get real excited when I see a little crop injury from a pre-emergence herbicide. The labels on most of [...]

By |September 16, 2016|

Weed Management: Field Day Recap: Getting Soybeans Off To A Good Start

This post highlights material covered in a breakout session sponsored by Northern Partners Cooperative at the recent ILSoyAdvisor Field Days. To see other posts in this Field Days recap series, click here.  It’s well-known that producing more pods per plant and more seeds per pod results in more yield. But it’s also a fact that soybeans don’t respond well to stress—usually by aborting flowers and pods, sometimes up to 60% of them. As a grower, your goal should be for plants to flower early and often, turn as many flowers into pods as possible, and fill out pods with [...]

By |September 15, 2016|

Agronomy: Variety Selection

When making next year’s soybean variety decisions, know your fields, recognize potential disease issues, do your variety homework and optimize your agronomy to get the best yields possible. Soybean variety selection is the first decision you make when planning soybean production for next season and that decision is usually made the summer and fall before. But this is a very hard decision to make. I have been an agronomist for a long time, and a farmer for a shorter period of time, and have never been able to totally figure out how to make the perfect decision. I recognize [...]

By |September 13, 2016|
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