Funded by the Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program.

July 2021

Proper Grain Grading – A Key to Worldwide Grain Movement

Reading through the history of the formation of grain and feed associations on the state and national level, you will notice a foundational block was to have a uniform system for grading and inspecting grain. Prior to establishing nationally agreed upon grades, it was a tumultuous time.  The importance to the grain trade of having fair and consistent procedures cannot be minimized.  This is true from the farm gate to the end user. The agency maintaining the official system is the Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) which operates under USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). FGIS maintains the official U.S. [...]

By |July 26, 2021|

Practical Methods for Using Tissue Nutrient Analysis Results

We are just past the summer solstice and per the “crop” calendar, halfway through the year already. One activity that is often overlooked at this point in the year is evaluating the fertility programs’ performance and making adjustments, also known as tissue sampling.  The GI/GO Principle applies: The only way to receive good and usable results is to send in the correct tissue for the growth stage of the crop. I won’t go too deep into the procedure, but I will say that it does follow the GI/GO rule, Garbage in = Garbage out. Here’s a good resource that outlines [...]

By |July 26, 2021|

Evaluating Early Planting Soybean

Planting a crop can be an emotional roller coaster for a farmer, besides selling grain too soon. My grandfather would say “put your bare bottom” on the soil and if you cringe, it’s too cold and too early to plant. Based off how often I heard this same story this past spring, the generation prior to us was definitely one of the greatest. The last three springs have brought up a lot of debate on when we should or should not be planting. In general, a soybean plant can withstand early season challenges better than a corn plant. And [...]

By |July 26, 2021|

The Hidden World Beneath Your Feet

At first glance, soil looks rather uninteresting. It might be brown, red, gray, white, or other colors depending on organic matter content and mineral characteristics, pieces of crop residue may be present, and if you are lucky, you might also see an earthworm. Have you considered, however, that each teaspoon of soil contains billions of bacteria and countless other microscopic organisms? This world, hidden in plain sight, influences many aspects of soil productivity, nutrient cycling, and crop yields. Let’s dive in and take a look! Farmers and gardeners have long recognized that healthy, productive soil is the foundation of [...]

By |July 22, 2021|

Proper Soybean Staging and Implications for Management

Illinois grows the most bushels of soybeans of any state in the United States. The varieties we typically grow here are called “indeterminate” which means their pattern of growth can change as the season and conditions allow year to year. Staging soybeans is an important aspect to managing a healthy crop because many of our crop protection products have specific usage windows. Let’s walk through the stages and discuss crop protection considerations at each growth stage. Preplant – This one is pretty self-explanatory. Preplant is the term used to describe a field of soybeans that has yet to be [...]

By |July 21, 2021|

STARting a Plan for Success

To many farmers, planning for next year’s crop is not easy and involves agronomic, financial, business, and legal decisions. Where to start? What factors should be included in the process? Where can improvement be made and how? That’s where it can be important to keep simple, clear records to interpret and measure success that will help map out improvements. For conservation decisions, specifically, this can be difficult. Measuring soil health is not straightforward and many variables play into it, such as weather, temperature, soil type, etc. So what if we try to make it simple? What if we go [...]

By |July 21, 2021|

Moisture Saturation and Oxygen Depravation

Many parts of the Central Illinois region have been hit with multiple inches of rain, causing several ponding issues. One observation we can easily see is when there is water on the surface. What is harder to see, and to realize, is when a field is fully saturated, but not showing water on the surface. Here’s an example. I was walking a field in early July, and it was certainly wet enough to require me to throw on my muck boots. The field was showing symptoms of water damage, but no standing water was present.  As I walked out [...]

By |July 21, 2021|

Considerations for Insecticide Use

For many in the agriculture industry, a soybean field is an amazing population of plants that convert sunlight energy and nutrients into a high volume output of oil and proteins. However, to insect populations, a soybean field is an amazing buffet! Regardless of what we plant and when we plant it, Mother Nature will always send a critter to feed on it. If food sources are good, many insect populations will flourish in population and cause crop injury. As the 2021 soybean crop enters R3-R4 and R5-R6, be on the look out for bean leaf beetles and stink bugs [...]

By |July 20, 2021|

SOYLEIC Varieties Provide Food Market With High-Value Soybean Oil

SOYLEIC, patented by the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council, is a non-GMO, high-oleic trait available for today’s soybean varieties, which results in high oleic oil and meal. Through funding from the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA), researchers at the University of Illinois are conducting a project focused on the development of high oleic, low linolenic (HOLL) soybean varieties that will be marketed under the SOYLEIC name. This is a source of high-quality soybean oil that can be used to win back the market share of soybean in the food industry and increase its industrial uses. The goal of this research is [...]

By |July 13, 2021|

Growing a Carbon Program

This article was originally published in the July issue of the Illinois Field & Bean magazine. Read the full article here. It seems as if we're hearing about new carbon market programs left and right these days. The myriad viewpoints can be confusing, so much so that farmers can become bewildered with unanswered questions as to which opportunity is the best option for their operation. Last year, the need for clarity for these carbon programs was recognized by several organizations, including the Illinois Sustainable Ag Partnership (ISAP), who stepped up to help answer lingering questions. ISAP, a partnership between [...]

By |July 8, 2021|
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