Funded by the Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program.

Eric Ifft

Treating Seed is Even More Important Today

Soybean seed treatment adoption continues to expand and become a more important decision, what has changed? This week I supported a retail customer by meeting with a grower and his 80+ year old father to discuss crop protection plans for the 2018 growing season. During the meeting we started discussing soybean seed treatment products. It was interesting because the father made the comment, “I raised soybeans for nearly 50 years and never planted a treated soybean seed. Now my son is spending twice the amount on soybean seed treatments as I did on the actual soybean seed!” In reaction, [...]

By |February 20, 2018|

Waterhemp By the Numbers

How do you manage a weed that is such a prolific seed producer? I’ve received quite a few phone calls regarding this question lately. In fact, the question of seed production and the weed seed bank raised enough interest that I created a table to examine how to manage the amount of seed a waterhemp produces. The table is included below, and you are welcome to download the spreadsheet and test out the numbers yourself. The numbers discussed below are all derived from the “Waterhemp By the Numbers” table. The scenario: Let’s say we have a 40-acre soybean field [...]

By |January 26, 2018|

Soybean Development – Reproduction Phase

Soybeans are flowering, so it’s a good time to review reproductive stages. Soybeans begin to flower around June 21 or summer solstice. A few flowers may appear before then, but the bulk of flowering begins in June. The last flowers will appear on the top of the plant in early August. The most important reproductive stages are R1, R2 and R3. These are easy to identify. Stage R1 soybeans have an open flower at any node on the main stem. See an open flower pictured in the illustration below from University of Illinois Extension. Stage R2 is when an open [...]

By |July 6, 2017|

Liberty Herbicide Label Changes

If you are using Liberty® herbicide on soybeans this season, you need to be aware of some updates to the label. Following are new directions for application on soybeans: • 43 oz./acre single application • 87 oz./acre total annually Label changes are highlighted in yellow below. We recommend that you always review product labels to remain up-to-date on application requirements to ensure greatest efficacy. Access the full Liberty label here.

By |June 27, 2017|

Bean Leaf Beetle Alert!

This season I’ve noticed a lot of soybean fields showing extensive bean leaf beetle feeding (see photos). Growers often discount the threat these beetles have against yield, but during early growth stages their feeding can be quite damaging. Photos courtesy of Eric Ifft, Bayer CropScience, taken in Livingston County on Friday, May 26, 2017. Where to start scouting: All the fields I looked at with extensive bean leaf beetle feeding were treated with fungicide seed treatment only. While there was a small amount of feeding in fields where insecticide seed treatment was used, it wasn’t close to an economic [...]

By |June 12, 2017|

Why You May Need Balance GT Beans

Why will the Balance™ GT Soybean Performance System be important to the soybean industry and weed management? There are current certainties in weed management. First, there are no new novel herbicide modes of action coming to market anytime soon for corn and soybeans. And second, weed control is getting harder every year due to weed resistance. The past couple of years there has been a lot of press on LibertyLink®, Roundup Ready® Xtend and Enlist™ beans and while these are new traits, the herbicide modes of action (glufosinate, 2,4-D and dicamba) have been around for decades and date back [...]

By |March 10, 2017|

Insect Management: Managing Japanese Beetles

Will a Japanese beetle breakout this year force growers to spray?  Our advice – scout your fields to see if beetles are a threat and if treatment is warranted. Photo courtesy of Eric Ifft, Bayer CropScience In mid-July I was scouting some soybean fields in central Illinois. About 30 percent of the fields I walked in had Japanese beetle populations at the treatment levels. The other 70 percent had some beetles in them even though spraying was not justified. Of course I was only in 10 fields so that is hardly a big sample but the fact that each of [...]

By |August 4, 2016|

Agronomy: Field Day Preview: LibertyLink System

As we continue to battle herbicide-resistant weeds, especially in the pigweed species, it is important to use multiple herbicides with different modes of action, as well as to rotate modes of action in an effective herbicide resistance management plan. One mode of action with limited weed resistance is Group 10 – glufosinate, otherwise known as Liberty® herbicide. Come to the ILSoyAdvisor field days in August (2nd in Hinckley, 3rd in Seymour, 4th in Benton) as Bayer CropScience reviews the importance of managing Liberty’s use by applying at the right weed height, volume and spray pressure to optimize its efficacy. To [...]

By |July 14, 2016|

Agronomy: Post Tank Mixes for Waterhemp

Controlling waterhemp is a challenge for growers across Illinois and the Corn Belt and the No. 1 subject of questions I received during the last week of June. So I decided to do a quick review of the 10 sites of action that make up 99.9% of what we have available for controlling weeds in corn and soybeans. Group 1 – ACCase inhibitors – These are products like Select Maxx®, Assure® II and Fulisade®. They are selective herbicides that only control grass weed species postemergence. Our main usage is controlling volunteer corn in soybeans. Because these do not control broadleaf [...]

By |July 7, 2016|

Disease Management: Could this be the year for Asian Soybean Rust?

We have never had a major breakout of Asian Soybean Rust (ASR) in the United States. Sure, it has been spotted numerous times on kudzu, its overwintering host, and it has been found on occasion in soybeans—but there never was an epidemic. It may have something to do with the fact that the ASR spores haven’t adapted well to our North American climate’s cold winters and hot summers. Those of you who know me might be thinking that “Could this be the year?” is referring to the Cubs and whether they will make the postseason playoffs. While I have some excitement [...]

By |June 16, 2016|
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