I’m Mike Wilson and I live and work in southern Illinois, NASS Crop District 9. I have been involved in production Ag for about 35 years and my experiences have run from seed production for corn, soybeans and wheat in the beginning of my career to Ag retail for the last 20+ years. While I enjoy working with all crops, soybeans have always held a certain allure for me. About 10 years ago we began an initiative in Wabash Valley to improve soybean yields. To accomplish this we have taken a Stress Mitigation approach. Our aim has been to reduce or eliminate stresses in the growing crop so we can maximize yield according to what Mother Nature gives us weather wise.
Many might think that our southern Illinois soils won’t consistently produce 70 bu plus soybeans, but we are steadily approaching that using this mindset. We are allowing for low soil nutrient-supplying capabilities with a multi tool plan of attack. We start with a good fungicide/insecticide seed treatment with a catalytic growth promoter, along with a micro nutrient package. We then follow with applications of foliar fungicide and nutrients throughout the growing season to mitigate stress in the plant as it reaches different stages of growth and reproduction. All of these steps follow a good soil fertility program as a base. We are also working with many new biology products that show promise and we are encouraged. While management of corn is most critical from planting to the 4th of July, you need to be more diligent with your soybean management, even up to Labor Day here in Southern Illinois.
I am excited to be part of the ISA’s Soy Envoy program. I look forward to working with the other members of the team to bring some of their experiences and practices to my area. Hopefully, they can gain some insight from some of the things we do here in my district.
Mike Wilson is a Specialty Products Marketing Coordinator at Wabash Valley Service Company. For over 20 years, he has been working with farmers in ten counties in southeastern Illinois to improve economic yield in soybeans, corn and wheat. Mike has been a CCA since 1994 and is looking forward to being a part of the Soy Envoy program.