Funded by the Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program.

April 2021

Planning For Hungry Soybean Plants

Planting season has begun and with it comes the anticipation of in-season crop management decisions. Optimizing fertility management is one of the cornerstones of a high yielding soybean crop. The knowledge of how much nutrition a soybean plant requires, the timing of when it is taken up, and how the plant distributes nutrients internally are a few of the details that contribute to effective pre-season and in-season crop fertility management planning. A soybean crop is no different than an elite athlete. Before you dismiss this as nonsense, let me explain. High yielding crops and athletes both require balanced nutrition [...]

By |April 23, 2021|

What Your Waterhemp Hopes You Don’t Know

The 2021 planting season has begun in many counties across Illinois which means a new year is beginning for fresh thoughts and ideas. The first two weeks of April provided dry soils for planting, tillage, NH3 application and spring herbicide burndowns. However, recent rains have brought field activity to a strong stop. Now is a great time to reevaluate your herbicide program for the coming spring. Over the past five years, I have started taking a larger role in herbicide programs. I did this because there was an increasing number of producers asking if we had been successful on [...]

By |April 23, 2021|

Why Should I Care About Soil Health?

Everywhere you turn, the words “soil health,” “regenerative,” and “sustainable” are buzzing in the agriculture space. There are carbon credit markets, EQIP and CSP programs, and more N.G.O. programs than I can begin to name out there, each offering differing incentives in this space. If you are reading this hoping for insight on the meaning of “sustainable” or “regenerative,” I cannot offer any insight. If you are hoping to get direction on what programs are available to subsidize these practices, again, I am not an expert in that space and cannot provide you direction. However, what I can offer [...]

By |April 23, 2021|

How To Evaluate A Field

I am sure most of our readers have been in a situation where they have called their seed rep or agronomist and told them that they’re concerned about seeds not coming up due to recent, challenging, environmental events. You may feel like they are trying to play a 100-question game with you, but in fact, they are trying to collect as much information as they can to help make the best recommendation they can. It’s often said that the famous last words of an agronomist are “it depends,” and how true this is. “Will my beans/corn live?” “It depends.” [...]

By |April 23, 2021|

Deciphering Types of Income

Introduction It’s that time of year again…tax time. Many farmers have already filed March 1, others will file by May 17 (the normal filing date of April 15 was recently pushed back by the Internal Revenue Service). Whether you’ve already filed, reviewing your return or have yet to receive all your tax documents, there are often many questions as to which income items are taxable and how they are taxed. This blog post is going to review some unique income items for 2020, different types of income and how they are taxed. We will start by discussing three of [...]

By |April 20, 2021|

ASA: Carbon Market Snapshot

The American Soybean Association provided a snapshot for crop producers of the carbon market landscape as of April 2021. Most of the current opportunities are for pilot projects and are not operating fully as a market at this point. Payment amounts vary and can be practice-based (with a fixed amount paid for adoption of certain conservation practices) or outcome-based (providing an amount based on the quantity of carbon sequestered as estimated through models or measured in soil tests). Nori suggests using 0.2 to 1.5 tonnes of annual carbon dioxide sequestration per acre as a rule of thumb for recently [...]

By |April 20, 2021|

Conducting Quality On-Farm Research

Digital ag platforms such as Climate FieldView have made it easy for farmers to conduct research on their own acreage. These tools allow growers to verify the results of industry and third-party testing and implement experiments to answer other questions they may have. This recent ILSoyAdvisor blog discusses some of the types of questions you may want to answer in your fields. While it is true that the best results are those gathered in the specific conditions of your own farm, there are a few considerations that should be followed when setting up an agronomy trial. If you took [...]

By |April 8, 2021|

Tillage Benchmarks for Soybeans in Illinois

This article was originally published on FarmdocDaily. The costs of machinery ownership and labor are two important factors when considering tillage decisions (Swanson et al., 2020). In an October farmdoc daily article (October 26, 2020), we examine tillage benchmarks for corn on Illinois farms in the Precision Conservation Management (PCM) dataset. Similarly, in this article, we explore tillage benchmarks for soybeans on Illinois farms in the PCM dataset and provide information about the types of tillage occurring and the average cost and returns for each tillage type. Precision Conservation Management (PCM) We summarize data from Precision Conservation Management (PCM) for [...]

By |April 7, 2021|

A Pretty Penny: Pennycress Cover Crop Could Play a Part in Helping Solve the Climate Puzzle

This blog was originally published to the Biodiesel Sustainability Now website. In solving a puzzle, sometimes it’s the smallest pieces that can help complete the big picture. In the climate change puzzle, a once-underappreciated plant called pennycress just may prove itself a beneficial piece. As a plant that has spent most of its evolutionary history as a weed, pennycress is gaining new interest as an oilseed crop that can help us piece together solutions to many environmental challenges. This oilseed plant, with pods shaped like a penny, captured my interest as a scientist once I began to understand both [...]

By |April 7, 2021|
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