Funded by the Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program.

October 2020

Four Questions About Early Planting Answered

If you have followed any of my work over the past few years, it will come as no surprise that I am an advocate of planting soybeans early. Ongoing research at Bayer Crop Science sites across the state of Illinois has provided valuable information on the benefits of early planting. Even so, I must admit that with a heavy frost in May and overall slow early development of the soybean crop, I was rather nervous about how the early planted beans would perform. As it turned out, my fears were unfounded. In this article, I will share some of [...]

By |October 31, 2020|

How To Evaluate Your Treatment Plan

In modern soybean production there are a lot of products and a lot of research being done to help improve growers’ yields and profitability. Yet, there is no way a farmer could utilize every single product on the market to improve yields. If they did, there would not be any room in the budget for profit. That is why it is up to each farmer to conduct their own research to validate products that work, improve profits and have a high percentage of wins. When evaluating performance there are three types of yield: biological yield improvement, yield improvement and, [...]

By |October 25, 2020|

Prepping Soybean Fields for Next Year

Much of the soybean crop is now harvested and growers are starting to finish up with their corn acres. If they haven’t started already, tillage will be the last step before winter. What is the best tillage practice to set your soybean field up for success next season? That is a very loaded question—let us look at the value of surface residue cover to help us find the answer. Benefits of surface cover residue                                           Drawbacks to surface cover residue [...]

By |October 24, 2020|

What’s Your Fall Fertilizer Plan?

Harvest is moving right along, and some fall fertilizers have already been put on or are going to be applied as harvest ends. Usually there are two types of fertilizer plans: the plan that is the same every year or the plan that utilizes soil tests and previous crop removal rates to determine nutrient needs. For the latter plan, it is best to soil test in the summer and fall because potassium results are the most reliable. Testing is recommended every four years at a depth of seven inches. Before sampling it is important to decide on a sampling [...]

By |October 21, 2020|

What and Where Is Your Weed Problem?

This time of year, growers are riding in combines and grain carts over thousands of acres, and it’s hard not to find areas of weed pressures that broke or even new green weeds starting to emerge. As you find those areas, it’s important to determine why there was weed pressure in the field and how to properly manage next year. It was Albert Einstein who said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. Now is the time to recognize the issues, soon will be the time to learn about [...]

By |October 20, 2020|

Six Things to Consider When Evaluating Plot Data for Variety Selection

With harvest upon us, there will be a lot of plot data circulating to showcase performances. It’s important to understand what type of data you’re looking at and how to interpret the information. A lot of times, people just want to see which products placed first, second or third in each plot. However, plot results are useless unless the winning information is incorporated into a larger data set. For example, if a farmer made their seeding decision for corn or soybeans based off the performance of a given plot, they are statistically taking on a higher level of risk. [...]

By |October 19, 2020|

Begin Controlling Weeds Now for 2021 Soybean Acres

The sight of crop fields brightly adorned with blooming weeds in April and May is becoming an increasingly common occurrence in Illinois. While this is not a new observation for no-till fields, particularly in Southern Illinois, winter annual weeds are becoming increasingly common due to a trend toward reduced tillage as well as unpredictable fall and spring weather patterns that may delay planned tillage operations or herbicide applications. While winter annual weed species do not directly compete with the crop during winter months, there are several factors to consider that may make fall control of winter annuals a beneficial [...]

By |October 18, 2020|

Harvest Time is Go Time … But So is Every Day

Fall harvest is a busy time for farmers. You see a lot of combines and other equipment working in the fields, sometimes around the clock, to get crops out before any bad weather arrives. Our fifth-generation farm is no different, although I am just as likely to be caring for our dairy cow herd as I am combining corn and soybeans or doing weed research for Purdue University. I put in a lot of long hours all year wearing so many hats. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. You might think that our activity on the farm [...]

By |October 15, 2020|

Are You Storing Soybeans and Corn Properly?

With harvest underway for most producers in the state, the next big challenge is to properly manage logistics to successfully deliver high quality grain to the point of sale. Depending where a producer is located it may or may not make sense to sell corn or soybeans right out of the field for numerous reasons (basis or future price, deferred income in next tax year, etc.). Harvest crop moisture can add another layer of complication for the 2020 growing season. So far this fall corn is taking a while to get dried down, and in some situations, soybeans are [...]

By |October 12, 2020|

Prepping Now for Challenges Facing the Farm in 2021

Our family grows soybeans in Washington County, Illinois, which is the top winter wheat producing county in the state. We take advantage of the southern Illinois geography raising both full-season seed soybeans and double-crop seed soybeans behind wheat. And while we haven’t started harvesting either soybean crop yet, we already are making preparations to address challenges we could face in 2021. The decisions we make will all come down to one word—profitability. What can we do to improve the bottom line for the future? The first potential challenge we continue to face is economics. Producing soybeans profitably has been [...]

By |October 8, 2020|
Go to Top