Well, this is my last article as the season comes to a close as a Soybean Envoy for 2016. I’m going to hit a few highlights as harvest progresses in southwestern Illinois. Soybean production faced some challenges which kept our yields below the rest of the state.

There have been very few soybean fields harvested at this point. Those fields were planted fairly early and were late Group 3s or early Group 4s. Thus far the yields have been surprisingly good considering the environmental extremes we had this year. The lowest reported yields have been 47 bu/acre, with 58 bu/acre as the high, but this is only a small sampling.

I have noticed that the soybean grain quality is slightly off. Purple seed stain, green soybeans stems and a few moldy ones straight from the pods have been evident. We are probably going to see lower and perhaps even higher yields than the ones I have observed thus far from our full-season soybeans. I also feel that we could see some outstanding double-crop soybean yields if the sun would quit hiding behind the clouds.

Now, all of this begs the question, “Are we going to see record soybean yields this year as projected by the survey estimates?” My thinking is NO. As a fellow crop consultant, Mr. Kelly Robertson from Benton, Ill., has pointed out on several occasions, “We are severely lacking in solar radiation units this year.” This is just one of the components that has been contributing to corn yields around 30% lower than last year as well.

One has to understand that for the American farmer to set new record soybean (and corn) yields for 2016, EVERY producing region across the country will have to produce yields greater than those obtained in 2014. I don’t see this happening in southwestern Illinois and have not heard many reports of “bin busting” yields outside of Illinois.

If you think back to 2014, news traveled very fast when high yields were reported for corn and soybeans from the deep South and we are not hearing that this year. Yes, there are good yields in some places, but no one is bragging that this is the best crop they ever harvested.

Finally, some producers have finished harvesting corn, are planting wheat and are waiting for the soybeans to mature. We have a large number of bean acres that are still green and now time, sunlight and temperatures will determine what the late-planted soybeans will do.

I enjoyed being a Soy Envoy this year. Have a safe harvest.

Terry Wyciskalla is an independent crop and soils consultant based out of Nashville, Illinois. He specializes in soil sampling, fertility recommendations, precision ag services and crop problem diagnoses. He serves a 12-county area throughout Illinois. He earned his 4R Nutrient Stewardship certification in 2015 and is happy to be a part of the 2016 Soy Envoy team.

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About the Author: Terry Wyciskalla

Terry Wyciskalla is a Certified Professional Agronomist, a Certified Crop Adviser, and a 4R Nutrient Management Specialist. He has a Master of Science (MS) in Plant and Soil Science and has spent 25 years as a soil fertility agronomist/precision agriculture consultant in a 10-county region in southern Illinois while also spending 16 years as a researcher in soil fertility and an instructor at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.