Funded by the Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program.

April 2017

An Unusual Wheat Season

With frequent spates of warm weather this winter, it’s been an unusual wheat growing year. Not long ago, growing wheat in southern Illinois seemed simple. Four major events marked the growing season: planting, nitrogen application sometime in January, another nitrogen application in late March or early April, and then harvest in late June or early July. As the saying goes, times were simpler then and the weather was more predictable. That process sure has changed over the years. We have added more trips across the field as we have learned more high-yield management techniques. Many farmers have a recipe [...]

By |April 28, 2017|

Weeds to Watch Out For

It’s time to get up close and personal to know the super weeds invading your fields. “Super weeds” are becoming increasingly more widespread within Illinois and many of us in the agriculture industry are quite aware of their presence. These weeds typically are resistant not only to glyphosate, but also to other herbicides, making them even more challenging. Some may be resistant to two, three or even four different chemistries. By identifying these so-called super weeds early in the season we can develop a positive plan of attack to control them. Pigweed species  Redroot/Smooth pigweed: Round to oval leaves [...]

By |April 26, 2017|

Understanding your “Seed real estate”

Seeds can’t hold an infinite amount of coatings so choose smartly based on need. If you’ve ever built a shed, you’ve likely spent countless hours figuring out how to make best use of the space. You want to be efficient and get the most bang for your buck with the available square footage. The same process applies to selecting seed treatments. Often overlooked in seed coatings is what I like to refer as the “seed real estate.” If you’re like most growers you plant treated seed, but do you know what is in those treatments? Are you optimizing what [...]

By |April 25, 2017|

Growers Find Their Edge in Soybean Yield Challenge

BLOOMINGTON, ILL.—April 4, 2017—Spring is here and that means planting is just around the corner. Soybean growers in Illinois are looking for an edge in production, and the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) has the answer. Interested in testing new practices and comparing how they perform against other fields? Looking to break yield barriers and push pods to their full potential? The ISA Yield Challenge is the opportunity to experiment with on-farm trials, discover what works best on your soil and compete with your peers in Illinois, all for a chance at cash rewards and bragging rights come harvest. The [...]

By |April 22, 2017|

Strategies for Planting Soybeans Back To Back

Original article posted on With current grain pricing and a strong potential for increased soybean acres, some growers are asking about management tips and strategies to consider when planting continuous soybean acres: Plant a different variety that was planted in the field last year - Every variety has a weakness and planting the same variety on the same acre two years in a row will further expose that weakness Be aware that pests threats may increase on continuous soybean acres SCN will proliferate on back to back soybeans. Use multilevel control measures like SCN resistance and seed treatments [...]

By |April 20, 2017|

Podcast: Soil Conditions Critical to Planting Success

AgriGold central Illinois regional agronomist, Todd Steinacher, provides boots-on-the-ground insights to growers preparing for 2017 planting. “Anytime we put seed into soil, we really need to understand the conditions we’re putting it into and making it live through,” explains Steinacher. Growers need to consider soil temperature, soil moisture, and tillage practices as they ready the planter this spring. Be cautious of weather forecasts, “If we continue to see a cool, wet trend – don’t push it,” says Steinacher. Less than ideal soil conditions could lead to bigger problems down the road. And Todd recommends growers consider agronomic solutions to [...]

By |April 20, 2017|

Is your planter a money maker or money pit?

Your yield potential is greatest on the day you put the seed in the ground. Your planter plays a significant role in reaching that potential. All planters have one thing in common—they can be serious money makers on the farm if configured and set correctly. At the same time, lack of attention to operational details can cause a train wreck that hampers yields all season. There are some basic things farmers can do to ensure uniform spacing and emergence of soybeans. Follow this checklist to make sure your planter is ready for top-notch performance for the coming year: Level [...]

By |April 19, 2017|

Early planting of soybeans and population

Planting soybeans early? Consider reducing the population to let the plant exploit this opportunity. 2016 allowed many growers in Illinois to plant soybeans earlier than they have in previous years. For some, it was their first time planting soybeans in April. The yield differences of April versus May planted beans have caught the attention of most growers and those without much early planting experience may be surprised by recommended seeding rates for April-planted beans. Planting in April often means cooler and possibly wetter soil conditions. These conditions are prime for soil-borne diseases such as Phytophthora. The typical thought process [...]

By |April 18, 2017|

The North Central Soybean Research Program

The North Central Soybean Research Program (NCSRP) has been funding soybean research since 1992. It’s supported by checkoff dollars provided by 12 state checkoff boards in the upper Midwest. States and their universities involved include Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Learn more here. The mission of the NCSRP is to maximize producer returns by coordinating regional research efforts, minimizing duplication of research, and assuring that regional research projects target problems faced by producer in the region. It is led by a board of farmer directors. The NCSRP Board approved [...]

By |April 17, 2017|

Hitting 100 bushels

Want to break 100 bushels? Here are a few foundation steps to follow. As with corn, soybean yield and profitability potential decline once the seed is placed and becomes vulnerable to the environment and the field’s biological systems. The day of planting is when yield potential is at its greatest. A good start to high yields usually means planting early, at the right population and with the proper seed treatments. For many years soybean yields have remained in the 50- to 60-bushel-per-acre range. However, in recent years producers have been re-evaluating their management practices and challenging themselves to reach [...]

By |April 14, 2017|
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