Dan Davidson

Importance of Soybean Storage Proteins

Soybeans are grown because oil can be extracted and marketed as vegetable oil or blended to make biodiesel and the high protein soybean meal byproduct can be fed to livestock. However, it is the storage proteins and their composition that determine protein compositional quality. Soybeans, at 13 percent moisture contain about 18 to 20 percent oil and 34 to 36 percent crude protein, though those ranges can vary considerably across varieties and climatic zones. A bushel of soybeans weighing about 60 pounds contains 44 pounds of meal, 11 pounds of oil, 3.5 pounds of hull and about 1.5 pounds [...]

By |August 31, 2019|

Improving Soil Health

Soil health is a popular topic today. Many entities including NRCS, universities, non-profits and private companies are promoting soil health and how to improve it. Growers are interested in the health of their soil, but worry that the cost of improving it will not generate a profit and may end up costing them money. Dave Rahe, with RPM Soils and a 2019 CCA Soy Envoy, works as a soil scientist and is very interested in improving the health of his customer’s soils. He says that when studying soil health, you need to track three parameters: chemical, physical and biological. [...]

By |August 23, 2019|

Cool and Wet Weather Bring on Bacterial Blight

2019 has been an unusual season with a wet spring and very late planting followed by drier weather and outbreaks of diseases and pests. I think this is a year we will be glad to put behind us. I have been scouting soybeans on a fungicide project in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa (I live outside Omaha) the last couple weeks. There have seemed to me to be three commonalities across all the soybean fields: Minor leaf feeding (Japanese beetles, caterpillars, bean leaf beetle and others) Minor Septoria brown spot at the bottom of the canopy (this was expected) [...]

By |August 12, 2019|

PODCAST: The Evolution of Soybean Production in Illinois

Soybean production in Illinois has been on a a steep upwards trend over the last decade. Dan Davidson, research and technical consultant for the Illinois Soybean Association, takes a look at the evolution of soybean production and what practices have helped Illinois take the lead in soybean yield.

By |August 7, 2019|

Soybeans – Ever so Short

The ILSoyAdvisor received a question from central Pennsylvania last week: “My question is that my growers are seeing flowers on plants that are almost 1.5-foot-tall, which is much smaller compared to what we saw last year (or in normal years). I am wondering what happens to plant growth after the plants begin to flower. In other words, do plants keep growing and keep producing more nodes after they start flowering? My understanding was that once the plants start flowering, they don’t grow much in height and or nodes. Is that true?” This is a very good question and 2019 [...]

By |July 25, 2019|

What Drives Pod Count?

Soybeans yield are increasing over half a bushel per year now. Some of that increase is from genetic gain and the rest is from better management. Soybeans have the uncanny ability to produce hundreds of pods per plant, but most never make it past flower or early pod stage. If you want to increase your soybean yields, track what is happening to pod counts during the season and see if you can do something about it. As soybean flowering wanes and pod fill commences fully over the next 30 days it will be a good time to check pod [...]

By |July 22, 2019|

Pod Number Counts Most

We often talk about evaluating the components of yield from plant population to pod number per plant to seed number per pod and seed size. However, the number of pods a plant can set, retain and grow to maturity appears to be the most promising factor to influence with good management practices. Seeds per pod and seed weight have a much smaller impact on final yield. There are three facts we should acknowledge: Dr. Fred Below’s Six Secrets of Soybean Success research has proven that each additional pod added on a soybean plants adds two bushels per acre. Early [...]

By |July 10, 2019|

Relay Cropping Soybeans

Many producers in Southern Illinois double-crop soybeans after wheat and this creates an additional opportunity for revenue for the farm. In addition, winter wheat acts as a cash cover crop and planting soybeans into wheat stubble adds living roots which supports biological activity in the soil when growers may otherwise let the field lie fallow. Producing double-crop soybeans is a challenge because you’re planting a crop outside its prime window when weather is drier and hotter. And there is always a risk that it won’t rain either at planting or later in the summer. This limits investment since there [...]

By |June 29, 2019|

Soybean Cyst Nematode – A Consistent Threat

Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is known to cause considerable yield loss in soybeans. Often that loss is accompanied by undetectable crop symptoms and options to control it seem increasingly limited. In an earlier blog SCN: The Soybean Nemesis, Dr. Nathan Kleczewski at the University of Illinois stated “You may not realize it, but soybean cyst nematode (SCN) remains the most important yield-robbing pathogen of soybeans in the United States. In 2015, over 109 million bushels of soybeans were estimated to have been lost because of this pesky roundworm. However, often these losses go unnoticed or are blamed on other [...]

By |June 18, 2019|

At What V-Stage Does R1 Occur?

Regardless of when you plant soybeans flowering still begins just after V3. The difference is the amount of foliage produced from VE to V3 with more foliage produced the earlier you plant. Soybeans in Illinois can be planted over a 2- to 3-month period, from early April for full-season beans to early July for double-cropped bean. With soybeans being daylength sensitive, how will such a wide planting window and daylength impact when soybeans begin to flower? With the delayed planting this spring, I began to wonder at what V-stage soybeans will flower as planting was delayed outside the normal [...]

By |June 10, 2019|
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