Wow, what a year the 2015 season has been! From the start, farmers were challenged by weather events that staggered early season growth. We were no different at Beck’s new Southern Illinois Practical Farm Research site in Effingham. Transitioning from a traditional farm that still had cattle and chickens on it in April, to a full-fledged research farm was a huge accomplishment in a short amount of time. Like others in the area, we experienced excessive rainfall events in the months of May and June.
The conditions we faced led to an opportunity to test Yield Center’s 360 Y-DROP® on the visibly stunted first-year soybeans that were following more than 60 years of continuous corn. Using a rate of 10 gallons/acre of 28% UAN (or 30 lbs. of actual nitrogen), increases in both yield and profitability were observed. These results were not surprising considering the conditions that we faced throughout the season leading to reduced nitrogen fixation. With poor root development and a less than ideal environment for nodulation, we feel that the supplemental nitrogen helped. Based on the results from this season, there is a good probability that we will continue testing the 360 Y-DROP application to see if it shows consistent results across multiple years and environments.
Another new and interesting study at Beck’s Southern Illinois PFR was the ILeVO® seed treatment study on soybeans. According to Bayer, “ILeVO is the first and only solution for Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) with activity against nematodes and, when paired with Poncho®/VOTiVO®, provides soybean farmers with the broadest spectrum nematode control available.” With a strong presence of SDS in the 2014 season, ILeVO attracted strong interest in 2015.
Our ILeVO study was designed to evaluate two varieties of soybeans across two planting dates—an early planting date and a more normal planting date by geography. In SDS-prone areas, SDS is more likely to occur when soybeans are planted early. Depending on the site, the results varied. At the Effingham location SDS was not present in the 2015 season, but results still showed a positive response to ILeVO overall. Long-term data from our Central Illinois PFR location suggest that the active ingredient in ILeVO, fluopyram, has maintained a 2.2 bushel/acre advantage over the control across a four-year data set. This is a promising technology growers can benefit from.
We continue to test products and practices that are farmer-focused in an effort to provide farmers with practical information that they can apply to their own farms. Look for the results of these studies and more in our 2015 PFR Book that should hit the mail in December!
Jon Perkins is the Practical Farm Research Lead and PFR Agronomist at Beck’s Hybrids in Southern Illinois. Read more about Jon here.