The 2016 Soybean Summit ended on a high note with more than 150 soybean farmers meeting in Rockford, Illinois on Friday, March 11 to learn about steps they can take to reach their mission of higher yields. Bryce Anderson of DTN and Bryce Knorr of Penton/Farm Progress anchored the day as the two keynote speakers. Attendees also got to listen and network with many other soybean experts including breakout session speakers: Marion Calmer (Calmer Corn Heads, Inc.), Vince Davis (BASF), Andrew Hoiberg (Calcium Products) and Shawn Conley (University of Wisconsin). Three additional soybean farmers also participated in a roundtable discussion on “Breaking the 100-Bushel Yield Barrier in Soybeans” with Dan Davidson (Illinois Soybean Association) moderating the talk. If you weren’t able to make it, or simply want to revisit what our experts shared, the Illinois Soybean Association has made videos of the presentations available online.

2016 Crop Weather Outlook: Bryce Anderson, DTN

Bryce Anderson discussed the crop weather outlook for 2016. Special emphasis was given to the prospects for the season in the wake of the 2015 El Niño event in the Pacific Ocean. He also had a forecast for the final stages of crop season and harvest in South America.

The Search for Profits in 2016: Bryce Knorr, Penton/Farm Progress

U.S. growers may be ready to boost soybean plantings again in 2016. But will profits remain elusive? What are the factors that could drive rallies in the year ahead, and what are reasonable price expectations for soybeans? What strategies for selling crops and buying inputs should be considered? Knorr’s presentation covers: the outlook for prices in 2016, strategies for managing risk in old and new crop, and the price forecasts for fuel and fertilizer.

Managing Tough Cornstalk Residue for Increased Soybean Yields: Marion Calmer, Calmer Corn Heads, Inc.

When considering ways of improving his chances of raising profitable soybeans, Marion Calmer, a long-time no-till veteran from western Illinois, relies heavily on his more than 30 years of independent on-farm research. He understands that managing tough cornstalk residue has become a challenging task for many farmers. Throughout his session, Marion reviews the pros and cons of sizing corn residue, along with the economic impact it has on soil temperatures, soil moisture, earthworm populations, nutrient release, nitrogen tie-up and ultimately your soybean yields and profits. Because managing residue starts at harvest time, Calmer also discusses the mechanical impact that chopping corn heads, different styles of stalk rolls, stubble stompers and vertical tillage have on necessary planting down pressure, clean seed trenches and how efficiently spring residue flows through planters. When it comes to utilizing organic matter and nutrients, correctly managing your corn residue can be the difference between a profitable and unprofitable year when battling both grain prices and Mother Nature.

Optimizing Soybean Yield and Minimizing Herbicide Resistance Starts with Advanced Weed Control Systems: Vince Davis, BASF

Weed control has always been one of the biggest management challenges in soybeans dating back to when the focus of growing soybeans shifted from a primary forage crop to a grain crop. The development of herbicides from the 1960s through the 1990s facilitated easier weed management. The develop¬ment of genetically engineered soybeans to withstand applications of broad spectrum herbicides in the mid-1990’s completely simplified weed management. However, throughout the whole time, the evolution of herbicide resistance in weeds was also a constant threat forcing the need to continually change herbicide weed control strategies. Advanced weed management is about utilizing all the “tools in the toolbox” even as new genetic platforms of herbicide tolerant soybeans are released to the marketplace and continuing to rotate herbicide sites-of-action for future success is a must.”

Video coming soon.

Effects of Soil Quality & Fertility on Soybean Yield: Andrew Hoiberg, Calcium Products

How do soybeans respond to various soil quality parameters? How do soybeans respond to various fertilizer inputs? This talk revolves around university-based research over the past 30 years to show what soil test values should be considered, what levels of soil fertility should be sought and what the best strategies are for various soil types to maximize soybean yield.

Applying High-Yield Research and Management in a Low-Margin Year: Shawn Conley, University of Wisconsin

In this session Dr. Conley discusses the results of a three year, multi-state high yield experiment in soybeans. Participants took home the probability of input success and the resulting ROI given today’s commodity prices.

Farmer Roundtable with Audience Q&A Participation: “Breaking the 100-Bushel Yield Barrier in Soybeans”
Shelby Kaufman, Kris Ehler and Jason Watson

Moderated by Daniel Davidson

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