Funded by the Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program.

January 2021

Five Considerations a Certified Crop Advisor Will Tell You This Spring

Preparing for the next growing season begins far before a seed is put into the ground. Farmers must be vigilant in understanding the needs for their soil. Not only a Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) but also CCA Soy Envoy, Jason Boehler is passionate about conversing with farmers about plans for the future. As he works to ensure that producers are ready to tackle the year ahead, he shares considerations a CCA will tell you for spring 2021. 1. Soil Testing and a Good Fertility Plan There are many aspects that are included in a successful fertility plan and 2021 [...]

By |January 27, 2021|

Be Prepared if Fusarium Head Blight Rears, You Know, its Ugly Head

While the good news for Illinois wheat growers is that fusarium head blight (FHB) has not been a significant issue the last three years, challenges remain to its management in the future. Nathan Kleczewski, University of Illinois Extension field crop pathologist, speaking during the first session of the 2021 Double-Crop Farmers Forum sponsored by ISA, the Illinois Wheat Association and others, says no new fungicides are available today, but new moderately resistant varieties are coming. Kleczewski says the fusarium pathogen that causes the fungal disease overwinters in crop residues, primarily corn and wheat residues. Wheat behind corn raises the [...]

By |January 26, 2021|

Considerations for Nitrogen Application in Winter Wheat

Nitrogen Application Considerations Like corn, wheat is a grass, so nitrogen is one of the key nutrients that a wheat plant needs to grow. The timing of a nitrogen application depends on the size of the plant, the stand (A good rule of thumb is that you need 25-30 plants per square foot), and when it was planted the fall before. On our farm, we use a split application. If the wheat is planted at the optimum time and it gets to a good size, we generally will wait until March 1st to do our first application. If the [...]

By |January 26, 2021|

Double Crop Strategies Bring Challenges and Rewards

Double cropping is a way for farmers to get the most out of their land. Using a double crop strategy can be difficult but reaps a great reward for farmers willing to take on the challenge. Double-crop soybeans have become a part of my cropping strategy the last several years here in Southern Illinois. One of the main reasons I like to use this strategy is to encourage more crop diversity. Since I farm in southern Illinois, we don’t raise the corn crops like they do up in central and northern Illinois. Planting Preparations There are two items farmers [...]

By |January 20, 2021|

Corn or Soybeans? How to Choose Your Most Profitable Crop for 2021

For years, corn has led in profitability, making corn-on-corn a top contender for many U.S. farmers. With soybeans rallying at the close of 2020, many farmers were left wondering: Would I make more profit in 2021 with soybeans on my undecided acres? But crop prices aren't the only factor that determine profitability. Farmers must also consider potential yield penalties and increased expenses related to continuous cropping. To help farmers in the corn vs. soybean debate, Granular's Data Science team created a proprietary Corn vs. Soybeans Calculator. This one-of-a-kind crop rotation analysis tool accounts for best-in-class data on all these [...]

By |January 19, 2021|

Boots on the Ground: Validation of Benchmarking Process through an Integrated On-Farm Partnership

This article was originally published on the Cool Bean website by Dr. Shawn Conley and team. Team: Dr. Shawn P. Conley (Principal Co-Investigator) University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI Dr. Patricio Grassini (Principal Co-Investigator) University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE OH Laura Lindsey Ml Maninderpal Singh IA Scott Nelson ND Hans Kandel MN Seth Naeve NE Keith Glewen In A Bean Pod: The improved management treatment netted soybean producers an average of 5 bu/ac yield increase and $51/ac additional profit Growers should consider improving their soybean management by fine tuning planting date, maturity group, seeding rate, and foliar fungicide and insecticide [...]

By |January 15, 2021|

What You Need to Know About Hiring Workers: Calculating a Paycheck

In an earlier blog post, we discussed how to set your business up for payroll. Once your business is setup for payroll, the next step is to figure and write the employee’s paycheck. This blog post will cover pay period options and how to calculate paychecks. Pay Periods and Gross Wages The business will have to decide the frequency of which employees will be paid; Table 1 outlines some of the options, definitions, and number of pay periods per year. Table 1: Summary of Pay Periods Once the business has determined the pay period, they need to determine how [...]

By |January 15, 2021|

Which Carbon Farming Strategy is Right for You?

Every day, more and more articles pop up in my news feed highlighting carbon as a potential revenue source for farmers. I admit, as a soil scientist my feed may be a bit biased, but news about farming practices that store soil carbon are no longer limited to scientists or conservation-minded farmers, soil carbon has infiltrated the mainstream. In fact, over the last few months, multiple articles have been published in the popular press discussing various aspects of carbon farming ranging from proposed policies to marketplace creation to corporate, regional and national pay for performance approaches. With all this buzz, navigating through the various [...]

By |January 14, 2021|

Seven Thoughts to R5

Once a soybean seed is placed into the soil, it is Mother Nature’s job to provide an opportunistic mouth to feed on it. Whether it is a bean leaf beetle feeding on the cotyledons or seedling disease such as Fusarium reducing the stand, let’s face it - Mother Nature does not care about cash rent rates or grain market values. That means it’s up to us to better understand how a soybean plant works and what the major items are that need strong consideration. 1. The seed that is in the soil needs good seed-to-soil contact to evenly imbibe [...]

By |January 8, 2021|
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