Funded by the Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program.

February 2021

Online Pesticide Applicator Certification May Not Be As Hard As It Sounds

The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) has had to adjust their pesticide applicator and operator training and exam process this year due to the pandemic, which means anyone who needs to do so for recertification must adjust as well. IDOA has limited in-person classes but is also offering an online option for the training and exam. My three-year certification was up for renewal on December 31, 2020 and I decided to do the training online instead of in-person. I received a letter from IDOA that had information about the University of Illinois Pesticide Safety Education Program training course and [...]

By |February 19, 2021|

Under Cover

I’ve always wanted pictures of a cover crop peeking out from underneath of a light blanket of sparkling white snow. It’s turned into a game of ‘caption this!’ – “cover crop under cover” or something else super cheesy. But really, it’s an instant visual story: a winter scene, a green crop gently flocked with snowflakes, green plants apparent where the wind had whipped the snow and left behind bare spots on the ground. It’s the perfect visual of life that messes with our standard notion of nature being dead and frozen in the winter.  A few weeks ago, I [...]

By |February 16, 2021|

Soybean Summit Q&A with Dr. Shawn Conley

Dr. Shawn Conley’s virtual Soybean Summit session held on Wednesday, February 10, discussed how changes in soybean physiology have influenced soybean yield potential. Conley also walked through the growing season and discussed the interaction of inputs with soybean growth stage and calculated the role that soybean phenology plays in overall yield response. Below are questions from audience members and his responses to their inquiries. Q: If we can go down to 80K plants/acre and still have 98% yield, should we only be planting at 100K plants/acre initially? Save on seed cost? - Neil Stoller, Akron Services, Inc. A: I [...]

By |February 15, 2021|

All In On AgTech

It's 2021 and technology continues to surge. Ensuring we have an up-to-date understanding of how technology continually impacts our work and lives can be difficult to consistently adapt to and maintain. It is constantly evolving to the point that each day brings a new technological advancement. In the agriculture industry, a common theme is growing profitability and yields with the assistance of technology. When you combine that cutting edge technology with agriculture, you get AgTech. AgTech is one of the newest, fastest growing innovations within the industry. While it has been around for a few years, its ever-changing nature [...]

By |February 9, 2021|

University of Illinois Applied Research Results Now Available

University of Illinois researchers publish an annual report of applied research conducted on insect and disease management in soybean and corn. The 2020 report is now available for free download here. Highlights from the 2020 guide related to soybean management include the following: Surveys for soybean insects and diseases, including red crown rot, soybean gall midge (which was not found in Illinois in 2020), and the annual statewide survey of insect pests. Fungicide evaluations for control of frogeye leaf spot, white mold, and purple seed stain. Evaluations of seed treatments for control of Rhizoctonia root rot and soybean cyst [...]

By |February 9, 2021|

Wheat Yield Winners Offer Double-Crop Management Tips

Double-cropping wheat and soybeans is a popular strategy in parts of Illinois. Farmers who won the Illinois Wheat Association’s (IWA) 2020 yield contest recently offered their tips for success during the 2021 Double-Crop Farmers Forum sponsored by ISA, the IWA and others. David Justison from Montgomery County placed first with a yield of 126.7 bushels, Dan Rubin of Fayette County was second with 124.7 bushels and Dale Wehmeyer from St. Clair County was the third-place winner with a yield of 119.4 bushels per acre. The management practices below are some of the highlights as discussed by these three farmers [...]

By |February 5, 2021|

Will Bean Leaf Beetle populations in 2021 be a Bigger Issue?

In late August of 2020 I started to see a disturbing trend. Bean Leaf Beetle (BLB) populations were well above previous years. In East Central Illinois, we continued to monitor these populations, but they remained below any threshold worthy of action. With drought-like conditions, no rain in the forecast and sub $8.50 soybeans on the board of trade, many growers would not have been excited to make a late aerial application for a crop that was headed in the wrong direction. Unfortunately, many growers in geographies along the U.S. Route 24 and north of that, had no choice but [...]

By |February 5, 2021|

Soybean Seed Sizes for 2021 Planting Season

What looked to be an extremely good soybean year for growers in 2020, ended up being average to slightly above average. Last year was set up for better soybean yields than 2018’s record crop in many areas, but very dry August and September conditions took the top end out of the yields. This was very evident in the seed size at harvest. This is also carrying through for soybean seed for the 2021 growing season. Seed is much smaller than years past. It is not uncommon for many of the seed lots I have seen and treated to be [...]

By |February 5, 2021|

When in Doubt, Assume it will be a Record in 2021

It looks like 2021 will be a banner year when it comes to crop statistics. Guy Allen, senior economist with Kansas State University International Grains Program, told participants in the 2021 Double-Crop Farmers Forum that wheat, soybeans and corn will all likely set various domestic and world records for production and consumption this year. The forum was sponsored by ISA, the Illinois Wheat Association and several other partners. “I don’t know if I have seen such a plethora of issues driving the commodity markets,” Allen says. Here is a look at the macroeconomic factors he believes could impact price [...]

By |February 5, 2021|
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