As I write this, my final report as an Envoy, #harvest16 is in full swing. Corn is all but done here in Southeastern Illinois and soybean harvest is really just getting started. Initial yield reports have been very mixed: the earlier varieties like group 3-3.5 have been not as good as hoped, but the later 3.8-4.5 maturities are much better. As we expected, weed control is still an issue as it has slowed harvest for many. Fall herbicide applications have begun in hopes of getting a jump on weed control for 2017.

Many of the trial results for improved or new practices are coming out. Fungicide/insecticide applications on soybeans have been a very consistent plus this year. These products, applied at R3 along with a nutrient utilization enhancement product, have really shown a positive ROI. A 10 BPA increase is not uncommon, with a 5 – 6 BPA increase being more the average. That’s pretty good return for a $15 – 20 per acre investment. While we didn’t have an increase in every side-by-side, it was more than consistent enough to plan for more treatments in 2017.

Weed control was a huge issue in 2016 and going forward it will only become more challenging. Start a plan for your 2017 weed control now. Many are looking at current technology like Liberty® and Roundup Ready®. Others are banking that the dicamba and 2,4-D traits and herbicide products will get full approval. Whatever your plan is you better have at least one backup plan. One thing we learned this year was a total post program isn’t the answer anymore.

The conference season will be upon us soon and you should make as many as you can. The Southern Illinois Fertilizer and Pesticide Conference in Mt. Vernon, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, is always a great place to get good info and also pick up some CEUs if you are a CCA. It is one of many great opportunities to learn more about practices and products for the future.

As I close this submission I want to thank everyone at ISA and those involved with the Envoy program. It has been a great experience for me and I look forward to helping out when I can in the future. The Envoy program has really broadened my awareness of the differences in the geographies of Illinois and I have met a lot of great, dedicated individuals during the last two years. We need to continue to tell the story of Illinois Soy—it is a pretty good story to tell.

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 enjoying being a part of the Soy Envoy program.

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About the Author: Mike Wilson