Jeff Keifer

Agronomy: Lessons from the 2015 Crop

The biggest question I get asked now that all the soybeans have been harvested is, what lessons did we learn and what can growers do differently next year? My answer would usually include a joke about not using as much water. However, despite having too much rain last year, the soybeans didn’t seem to suffer as much as expected based on final yields. Tillage is the first thing that I would address in the answer. No-till soybeans have had a tough couple of years. I believe that having some form of tillage ahead of soybeans has paid off the last [...]

By |November 25, 2015|

Agronomy: Soybean Conditions in August

Hello from District 2. Soybeans are really starting to change color quickly here in District 2. Temperatures were very high a couple weeks ago and are now back to normal for this time of year. Some of the later planted soybeans are still green and benefitted greatly from the last couple rain events we’ve had, something I can’t say for the earlier ones. Beans planted in late April and early May are starting to drop leaves now. This is the time of year when you can really start seeing how the beans may yield. So, what factors went into [...]

By |September 25, 2015|

Soybean Conditions in August

Hello from District 2. Soybeans in my area are coming along nicely, but it didn’t always look so good for them. Two weeks ago I was finding a lot of White Mold and Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) in just about every field I looked in. Last week, I went back and spot checked all the same fields and found that levels of White Mold and SDS have not increased at all. The disease seems to have stopped in its tracks. This is great news for us. The same could be said for insects this year. Early on it looked [...]

By |August 25, 2015|

Do I need to add nitrogen to my soybeans?

Should you be applying nitrogen (N) on soybeans? The quickest answer is no—soybeans are a legume and have the ability to fix their own nitrogen, but everyone knows that! The more complicated answer is yes—if you are going for top yields. Everyone knows that soybeans have the ability to feed themselves, but what you may not know is that nitrogen production and nitrogen demand in soybeans don’t exactly match up. Nitrogen fixation occurs rapidly from V3 up until right after R1. This is when the vegetative growth begins to decelerate. However, pod growth at this point is on a [...]

By |July 16, 2015|

Soybean Conditions in June

Soybeans got off to one of the best starts I’ve seen since I started working as an agronomist. Emergence was good for all row spacing layouts, tillage styles, varieties planted, etc. We couldn’t have asked for a better start. However, with all the excess rain that we have had in June soybeans are going backwards fast. We have drowned-out areas, we have saturated soils leading to anaerobic soil conditions, we have fields with hail and/or wind damage, and all these detrimental effects are not good for a crop that started out so well. Now we need to depend on [...]

By |July 7, 2015|

Disease: Applying Cobra Herbicide to Soybeans for White Mold Prevention

Will applying Cobra® Herbicide really protect soybeans against white mold? That is the question that I and my fellow high-yield soybean enthusiasts set out to answer in 2009. Little did we know at the time that this would become the perfect year for this experiment. The field in question was moderate in fertility and did have a history of white mold. The beans were planted on May 20 and got off to a good start. We sprayed a residual pre-emerge herbicide on them and there was no weed competition to speak of. When the beans got to the R1 [...]

By |May 14, 2015|

Agronomy: Soybean Update from District 2

Hello from District 2!  As I write this, the ground is wet and we expect planting delays.  Most of our area received at least a couple tenths of rain. The rest of the week looks to deliver even more rain. A lot of growers have seen the light at the end of the tunnel and are finishing up corn. My best guess on corn planting completion is 60 percent for this district. However, soybeans are another story. A very low percentage of soybeans have been planted. I would encourage everyone to try some earlier planted soybeans and get them planted as [...]

By |May 7, 2015|

Agronomy: Meet Your Soy Envoy: Jeff Keifer

“I love soybeans,” is not a common phrase in Northern Illinois, but soybeans are more popular here now than ever.  Farmers are finding them more and more essential every year.  I really do love working with soybeans! My name is Jeff Keifer.  I was born near Sugar Grove, about 50 miles west of Chicago.  I attended school there, and have been attracted to farming my whole life.  I took a little hiatus from Illinois when I moved to Wyoming to attend the University of Wyoming, where I graduated in 2001.  Wyoming is far from corn and soybean country, so [...]

By |April 14, 2015|
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