Funded by the Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program.

November 2020

Optimize Yields with Narrow Row Spacing

When it comes to row spacing, it’s hard to know which option will result in the best yields for your crop. Especially since there are so many options to choose from, ranging from 7.5-inch rows all the way to 30 inches. So how do you pick the best option for your farm? The current spacing of my soybeans is 15-inch rows. I believe there is a yield advantage with narrow rows as they achieve canopy closure faster and capture more light during the growing season. Quicker canopy closure also allows for greater shading of weed seedlings and reduces soil [...]

By |November 30, 2020|

Actively Managing SCN Protects Yields

The SCN Coalition wants soybean growers and their advisors to consider the impacts soybean cyst nematode (SCN) can have on their bottom lines if left unmanaged. Developing a plan to actively manage SCN—the No. 1 yield-grabbing pathogen of the soybean crop in North America—protects soybean yields and profitability. SCN is the most damaging pathogen of the soybean crop for several reasons. In states like Illinois where SCN has been established for decades, it has become resistant to the most common source of resistance known as PI 88788. It’s been found in every county in Illinois and is estimated to [...]

By |November 24, 2020|

5 Things to Have Ready for Your Year End Appointment with Your Accountant

And just like that, we have found ourselves at the end of another year. 2020 has brought its own set of challenges and opportunities to farm families across the nation, so let’s look at five things to have ready before going to your accountant's office for your year-end visit: 1. A tax plan – This is not something you can prepare the night before your meeting. This is something that needs to be completed well before the end of the year. I always suggest meeting with your tax preparer in November or early December (or at least a month [...]

By |November 23, 2020|

The Bottleneck

Now that harvest is over, all of the bushels will soon be accurately counted and from the profit capital investment can be purchased. Regardless of your farm’s size or how much money is in your checking account, you are the CEO and president of your company and your farm. It is 100% up to you to make sound agronomic decisions, but to also make good, sound financial decisions. Several years ago I was talking with a family member who farms, and they were telling me how they just got done with harvest and were thinking about buying a new, [...]

By |November 15, 2020|

After Harvest Action Steps

The November 9, 2020, USDA Harvest progress report indicates that, on average, the 18 states that are monitored are slightly ahead of the 5-year harvest average. Bringing the information closer to home, Illinois is about 96% (+/-) complete with harvest, with its 5-year average at 92%. For many Illinois soybean farmers, harvest has come and gone somewhat quickly. Soybean plants were able to mature relatively nicely, allowing for harvest to begin earlier than usual. The benefit of early harvest in soybeans is that it allows for corn fields to have additional time to dry while overall harvest operations can [...]

By |November 13, 2020|

Dodging Weed Escapes from the Combine

Soybean harvest has had its ups and downs this fall. But if I had to single out the biggest in-field challenge, it would be trying not to combine through the waterhemp escapes and spread weed seed all over the field. Waterhemp seed is very small and there is plenty of it per plant. And given the difficulty in trying to control it, you don’t want to make the problem worse at harvest. Waterhemp continues to be a growing problem in central Illinois. We typically find it emerging where rainwater flows through our fields and the seed is moving from [...]

By |November 10, 2020|

Steps to Creating an Entity

There are many reasons individuals decide to formalize their operation into a business entity. A variety of entity structures are available for business owners to use to accomplish the goals/objectives of their operation. Some operators use an informal operating joint venture instead of a formalized entity. Tax and transition planning are some of the most common goals of an entity. However, it is important to not only consider the tax implications but also keep in mind the overarching goals and strategic plan for your entity. Common Entity Types  1. General Partnership 2. Limited Liability Partnership (LLC/LLLP) 3. Corporation • [...]

By |November 6, 2020|

Warm Fall Weather Leads to Increase in Wheat Planting

As we approach the last week of October, most of the wheat seeding is complete in Illinois and as we count acres, wheat planting is definitely up. Looking at the historical wheat areas of Southern Illinois, I would guess acres are up 30-40% over the previous year. The combination of a moderately early harvest, dry field conditions and $6 plus wheat have all played a part in driving acres up. While the window to plant has been very wide, conditions have been good, but not ideal, in a lot of the area. The old sayin’ goes “Plant in the [...]

By |November 3, 2020|

Murphy’s Law Applies to 2020

Most of us know Murphy’s Law: “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” As I write this article, I can see 2020 raising her hand, smiling and saying “Yep! That’s me!” Social issues, pandemics, major weather and environmental events, insects, disease, growth abnormalities, etc. Here’s my attempt at summarizing 2020 without saying “I’m ready for next year, it can’t be this bad,” as I did in 2019. To start the year, COVID-19 made an impact on pre-planting preparations and planting windows came early with some of the better soil conditions we have had the last couple of years. [...]

By |November 2, 2020|

Digital Tools to Better Understand Harvest Data

Harvest data is very beneficial when showing us what happened in a field, or to a product, but it doesn’t always give us the “why” we may have gotten a certain result. This data can be very powerful to help us to make input decisions and can be enhanced with technologies that provide insights into performance of these inputs. The question is often asked,” What was my most limiting factor?” and we can use digital tools to investigate this question. These technologies could range from as applied data to aerial imagery, however the two I want to focus on [...]

By |November 1, 2020|
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