Funded by the Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program.

March 2021

PCM Impacts: Summarizing Practice Adoption, Nutrient and Sediment Loss Reductions

The months of January through March are particularly busy for those of us working with the Precision Conservation Management program (PCM). That’s when we are developing and delivering our customized reports to each PCM cooperator across Illinois and Kentucky. We’re always glad to see the end of March come since – right when Illinois farmers are about to spring into action with planting activities - we are more than ready for a little breather. But we did have a chance to pull together some numbers summarizing the impacts of the PCM program. Let’s start with program enrolled acres. PCM [...]

By |March 31, 2021|

Planting Group 2 Soybeans in Southern IIllinois

It has often been said that “if you are not moving forward, you are falling behind.” One of the unique ways that soybean farmers in Southern Illinois have been moving forward and thinking differently is in soybean maturity. Twenty-five years ago, it was common to see a lot of Group 5 maturity beans. Today, the trend is shifting to earlier maturities, all the way into the Group 2 maturities. There are a few key reasons this shift is taking place and why it is working. Industry changes/focus in plant breeding that has allowed genetics to be pushed outside the [...]

By |March 31, 2021|

Do Soybeans Need Sulfur?

In the past five years, it seems like conversations regarding sulfur have increased. And as a result, many farmers are starting to incorporate a sulfur application into their corn fertility program with strong results. Since then, the conversation has moved from corn to soybeans. Do soybeans need sulfur? Simply put, yes. Sulfur is an essential nutrient that is required by all plants - including soybeans. The question is whether or not sulfur is a limiting nutrient for your high yield journey. Since sulfur is immobile in the plant, deficiency will show up in the upper canopy and typically have [...]

By |March 30, 2021|

SRIN: New Biotechnology Rules Will Bring Better Soybeans, Faster

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has completely overhauled the process used to regulate new genetic material, noting it will “reduce regulatory burden for developers of organisms that are unlikely to pose risks.” It also allows regulators to focus resources and oversight on areas with the greatest potential for risk. This win-win will continue to protect plant health while increasing regulatory precision. “We are always looking for new and better seeds, to grow new and better soybeans. Any process that gets improved seeds into our hands and our fields more quickly is helpful,” says Tom Oswald, United Soybean Board Director and [...]

By |March 29, 2021|

Understanding Crop Insurance and Grain Marketing

The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation is a risk management tool used to mitigate financial losses to U.S. farmers. In 1996, the Risk Management Agency (RMA) was established to administer the Federal Crop Insurance Program. RMA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that establishes policy and loss adjustment procedures. Private insurance companies deliver and service individual Federal Crop Insurance policies. Crop insurance can be a great investment to protect downward trends in the market along with low yield performance. Producers often say, “I spent X dollars on crop insurance premiums in the past and I haven’t ‘made’ [...]

By |March 18, 2021|

NCSRP Releases 2020 Annual Report and Project Summaries

The North Central Soybean Research Program (NCSRP) recently released its Annual Report which includes 2020 research project summaries. Projects this year covered topics such as sclerotonia stem rot, soybean cyst nematode resistance, soybean gall midge, sudden death syndrome, and more. NCSRP is a farmer-led organization that invests soybean checkoff funds in university research and Extension programs to better understand and manage plant stressors that reduce soybean yield and farmer profitability. It involves 355,000 soybean farmers from 13 states including North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. It is recognized as [...]

By |March 16, 2021|

All You Need to Know About Carbon Markets

Since joining ISA as the Director of Conservation Agriculture in January, one area in particular of my responsibilities has been extremely active. The carbon market space that is currently under development changes weekly with new companies entering this space, and at first glance, it can be quite confusing. In this blog I hope to outline a series of questions that farmers can ask as they consider entering this market. The basic structure of the marketplace is comprised of entities known as intermediate-credit-purchasers (ICP), by which farmers sell their credits. These entities are either non-profit organizations or agricultural corporations and [...]

By |March 15, 2021|

Key Considerations: Implementing AgTech On Your Farm

Transitioning to agtech on the farm continues to be a significant change. Farmers are now expected to do more - they must know the best ways to manage erosion, be a truck driver, manage the books, and add on IT. Each of these jobs alone could be a full-time job, but as times evolve, the need for technology becomes critical for any operation. Here are five practical considerations when looking to implement agtech on your farm: 1. Pay for the technology or service There are many free agtech opportunities but spending money on a service or technology can completely [...]

By |March 15, 2021|

Risks and Rewards of Planting Soybean Early

Farming is a business that is built on supply, demand, biology, and the environment. It is the greater understanding of these factors that influence decisions and profitability of a given farming operation. In many situations, farmers must weigh the risks and rewards before a decision can be made. In recent years, more producers have been planting soybeans earlier and before their corn crop. A corn plant is much more sensitive to early planting stresses that can impact the seed viability, development of the root system, and the overall survival of the seedling plant. Because of its sensitivity to these [...]

By |March 15, 2021|
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