As a professional agronomist, farmer and long time CCA in Illinois I was honored when I was approached to be one of the Soy Envoys. I began my career with Monsanto in 1993 and got involved in some of the early field trials being conducted on Roundup Ready® soybeans. Soybeans have been an important part of my career ever since. In my current role as a Technical Agronomist supporting the ASGROW and DEKALB seed brands in west central Illinois, helping growers be more successful with soybeans is important. I have always felt soybeans had untapped potential and suffered due to lack of management compared to corn. For many growers in Illinois it is easy to see corn is their favorite crop. Helping growers realize that soybeans can be profitable, fun to grow and can respond to management as well as corn is something I enjoy.
In recent years I have seen an increased willingness and interest on the part of farmers to manage soybeans better and shoot for higher yields. There are many reasons for this and I hope tighter economic times don’t cause growers to return to a minimalist approach to soybean management. We need to maximize strategies that increase soybean yield potential with minimal increases in production costs. Not everything that boosts soybean yield potential carries a big price tag.
As your Soy Envoy I look forward to hearing your questions and comments relative to soybean production in our area. Unfortunately, due to severe SDS in our area last year, we did not get to fully participate in the record Illinois average soybean yield of 56 bu/acre set in 2014. Production challenges continue to exist, but producers are seeing the potential of soybeans and realizing the agronomic and economic benefits of keeping soybeans in their crop rotation.
Lance Tarochione is a technical agronomist with Asgrow/DEKALB in west central Illinois. His work has focused on crop production, research and product development, and through his role at Monsanto he currently supports the Asgrow and DEKALB brands in seven counties in western Illinois.