To somewhat butcher a well-known Beatles sentiment – and in the end the yield you take is the yield you make – fits right in with my perspective on what October has to tell us about the summer of ’22.  There were so many roadblocks to achieving top productivity in our soy crop this growing season. Some of the most common comments/questions I kept hearing in late June through most of July were:

“These beans aren’t growing.”

“What’s wrong with them?  They’re just sitting there doing nothing.”

Well, there were a few obstacles to contend with early on:

  1. The first week of May and the cool temperatures that either messed with late April planted beans or kept anxious growers out of the field at a time when they were ready to roll.
  2. Extended dry weather for June and early July.

Many Illinois farmers either did or came painfully close to committing the ultimate production felony: observing your somewhat inhibited crops at midseason and reaching the conclusion that they did not deserve your best efforts the rest of the way.

Folks, here it is. Never Give Up On The Crop! I personally have been shouting this philosophy for years and this crop proved it once again. If you do decide to stop fostering an environment for excellence because of hindrances you have incurred, you will be wrong the vast majority of the time. Genetics in use today are heartier than those of yesteryear. Our ability to protect and nourish the crop is so advanced now. Plus, you should be swimming in sources of information your parents never had access to. I just now communicated with a farm enterprise with over 2000 acres cut and the average is around 74 bpa. That is whole-farm – including the bad spots, timberlines, uplands, river bottoms, white mold, and wildlife feeding. Still, the results are there. You should expect year-in-and-year-out that your better portions of the farm will run in the 90s. It’s fact. That is where we are as an industry.

(Disclaimer: I fully understand there are some soils that are not capable of this. I am talking about most Illinois farmland).

Are we on the path to triple-digit yields being a regular occurrence? I believe we are. First step is to make an attitude adjustment if necessary and never waver from that lofty goal, even if elements don’t always seem favorable along the way.

Adjust your tactics if necessary when Plan A isn’t panning out – not your goals.

It has been a pleasure communicating with you this crop year. You have my best wishes for all that is coming in the months and years ahead. Do remember, sometimes it’s ok to jump on the furniture, sing at the table and to wear a hat in the house. I am not aware of any rule that says being an above-average performer can’t be a good time.

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About the Author: Jeff Shaner

Shaner of Sheldon, Ill., has been an agribusiness professional for over 30 years, including his role as Soybean Product Lead at the AgVenture Seed Company which he has served since 2001. His job keeps him involved with people and crops across approximately 20 states. A graduate of Lanark High School and the University of Wisconsin – Platteville, he served as a past president of the Soybean Division of the American Seed Trade Association. Jeff and his wife, Mandi, have four children.

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