Funded by the Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program.

March 2020

Calculating Your Breakeven

By Emily Carls and Jessie Shoopman The two most common topics of producers are weather and prices. Both are vital to the success of an operation, but are also the most unpredictable part of a farming operation. Knowing the right time to sell grain and how much to sell can be stressful and frustrating. One way to minimize the risk in marketing grain is to know your breakeven price, or the price needed to generate enough revenue to cover all of the costs of production. Knowing your breakeven can help take some of the emotion out of marketing grain. [...]

By |March 26, 2020|

What’s The Growth Matter?

A soybean seed is like a soldier, receiving very specific instructions on what things to do and when to do them. However, unlike a traditional soldier, a soybean seed must do this without hearing verbal instructions or seeing a demonstration of what it should be doing. All of the soybean’s actions—what to do and when—are pre-built into its DNA. For example, once a seed has taken in enough moisture and heat, (seed-to-soil contact) germination has begun. The seed will swell and eventually give rise to the cotyledon. Once emerged, the cotyledon helps pull in sunlight for photosynthesis and stores [...]

By |March 25, 2020|

Quantifying the Economic Benefits of On-Farm Digital Technologies

This article was originally published on the farmdoc Daily website by Micah Pope and Steve Sonka. Precision agriculture has become mainstream in commercial agriculture production, and many would agree that it is “the way we farm today.” Utilization of technology varies from farmer to farmer, but the decision to invest in technology is commonly tied to the potential for increased efficiency and profitability. However, over the last couple of years, we’ve observed an interesting paradox when visiting with farmers who use precision agriculture technologies. Often, we would ask: “What is the economic return from use of those technologies?” That [...]

By |March 23, 2020|

2020 Planting Decisions in the Face of COVID-19

This article was originally published on farmdoc Daily by Gary Schnitkey, Krista Swanson, Jonathan Coppess, Nick Paulson. Trade conflicts, prevented and late planting, and policy innovations have presented a difficult decision-making environment to farmers over the past several years. The decisions for this spring are now drastically complicated given the rapidly changing situation with the spread of COVID-19 and its attendant health threats and control measures. Currently, a paramount concern is continuing farming and livestock activities in the face of COVID-19 health threats and control measures. Farmers and input suppliers are coming up on a very busy planting season. To [...]

By |March 23, 2020|

Are You Planting Soybeans Early Enough?

Every year there is more buzz about the value of planting soybeans earlier than farmers have historically done, with good reason. University of Illinois data shows that maximum yields are attained at planting dates prior to May 1, with a 7% yield loss when planting on May 15 and 14% loss on June 1. Figure 1.  Earliest planting date for federal crop insurance eligibility. Source: University of Illinois Researchers generally find that there is little difference in yield when soybeans are planted between April 15 and April 30 and do not recommend planting earlier than April 15. If you [...]

By |March 20, 2020|

AMP Up On-farm Business Decisions for Long-Term Profitability

When I’m successful both in and out of the field, my business thrives. While improving on-farm practices helps me achieve high yield acres, that’s not the only way I can increase profitability. My business succeeds when I commit to continual learning. That’s true for all growers. When we make smart decisions, whether that’s adopting new technology or reading up on management tips, we accelerate success. But I realize that our marketplace is always evolving. It can be difficult enough to stay on top of changing production practices, let alone best practices for business. To help growers like you and [...]

By |March 19, 2020|

Innovative Biodiesel Business Opportunity

This article was originally published in the January issue of Soy Perspectives magazine. Illinois soybean farmers commonly are aware of numerous benefits that biodiesel provides versus petroleum diesel; reliable engine performance, cost effectiveness, fewer harmful emissions and a lower carbon footprint. But what farmers may not realize is new business prospects may exist if they focus on the value of carbon reduction to further build the industry. “A misconception about the value of carbon reduction exists within agriculture. But farmers can change the paradigm by more aggressively participating in the debate,” says Rebecca Richardson, Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) biodiesel [...]

By |March 19, 2020|

2020 Soybean Summit Recap

The 2020 Soybean Summit was held March 10 at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield, Illinois, and 260 soybean producers, advisers and industry professionals gathered for a day of learning and growth. John McGillicuddy, McGillicuddy and Corrigan Agronomics, set the tone for the day as the first keynote speaker. McGillicuddy spoke about designing on farm research studies to test new agronomic practices and how the best agronomic decisions come from your personal research. He encouraged farmers to allocate their resources (whether its plant nutrition, money or time) to the most important part of any soybean crop: the soybeans. It’s important [...]

By |March 18, 2020|

What Is the Disease Triangle?

Have you ever wondered why certain diseases cause problems during certain seasons but not others? A disease is a living organism that wants to feed, thrive and reproduce. However, depending on the growing season, producers may see variability in disease presence. The seasonal occurrence will be strongly determined by collective interaction of these three factors: host, pathogen and environment. The Susceptible Host: A soybean seed or a soybean seedling The Pathogen: Rhizoctonia, Phytophthora or Pythium  Environment: Cool/wet soils 50-60 degrees Warm/wet soils 75-80 degrees Slow growing conditions Below is a chart showing how any of the three can change [...]

By |March 17, 2020|
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