Dr. Fred Below at the University of Illinois been conducting his Six Secrets of Soybean Success research project at sites across Illinois for the past four years. Now entering its fifth season, his research has focused on an omission strategy approach where he stacked a number of technologies together and then eliminated them one at a time to see which technologies had the most impact. Below’s work examined six factors with the greatest impact on yield: weather, fertility, genetics, foliar protection, seed treatment and row arrangement.
At this summer’s ILSoyAdvisor field days Monsanto technical staff will be presenting the results of Dr. Below’s work and offering suggestions on which technologies to choose to take to your own fields and succeed.
Soybean plots have been established at each site to look at the impact of seed treatments, biological products, additional soil fertility (N and P) and how these practices interact with applications of fungicide, insecticide and foliar nutrients at the R3 growth stage. Weed control demonstrations have also been established to compare the effectiveness of different herbicide programs that include residual chemicals, glyphosate, dicamba and glufosinate.
Many growers have set new personal bests for soybean yields in recent years. Eyes have been opened to the potential of soybeans to yield and excitement generated to see how we can replicate these successes across significant acres in Illinois.
Dr. Below and progressive growers have shown that soybeans can respond to high-yield management practices in a magnitude similar to corn. The average soybean yield in Illinois is about 55 bu/acre. The record-setting Yield Challenge yield in 2014 was 103 bu/acre and in 2015 the ISA Yield Challenge winner was 108 bu/acre. The 108 bu/acre yield compared to 55 bu/acre represents a 96% yield increase. If we translate this to corn, the equivalent 96% yield increase over the state average of roughly 180 bu/acre would be over 350 bu/acre!
Producers who have started to manage soybeans for higher yields have seen great results. If you would like to hear about the latest in soybean production technology and yield advances and what Dr. Below has learned from Six Secrets, please join us at the ILSoyAdvisor field day event nearest you.
Soybean growers who want to learn the latest in soybean management have three great opportunities to attend ILSoyAdvisor field days this summer. Events are being held Aug. 2 at Hinckley, Aug. 3 at Seymour and Aug. 4 at Benton. Asgrow Agronomists and Monsanto Technology Development personnel will be on hand to discuss high-yield soybean production and give updates on weed management strategies for 2017.
Lance Tarochione is a technical agronomist with Asgrow/DEKALB in west central Illinois. His work has focused on crop production, research and product development, and through his role at Monsanto® he currently supports the Asgrow® and DEKALB® brands in seven counties in western Illinois.