Kris Reynolds

Premium Discount

This December a new premium discount program is available to farmers who plant cover crops ahead of a federally insured commodity crop and insured with approved insurance providers. The new state program called Fall Covers for Spring Savings is administered by the Illinois Department of Agriculture and the Illinois 97 Soil and Water Conservation Districts. The $5 premium discount is available on 50,000 acres of cover crops that were planted in the fall of 2019. This program is a result of several diverse organizations partnering together to design a program that would be easy for farmers to enroll and [...]

By |December 15, 2019|

Conservation Practices—A look at the Past and Present

Many of the farming practices that were used 50 plus years ago are now considered conservation practices. Longer crop rotations that included 4 – 5 different crops provided additional biodiversity above and below ground, which provided a longer period that the soil was protected by a living plant. Roots in the ground all year round is now considered one of the principles for improving soil health. Cover crops were used to help improve the soil and today growers are interseeding into an existing crop. Farmers a half century ago where dealing with smaller farms and more diversity. Field sizes [...]

By |November 25, 2018|

PODCAST: Planning for Success – Fall Cover Crops

Kris Reynolds, Midwest District Director with American Farmland Trust and 2018 CCA Soy Envoy, shares his insight on planting cover crops in the fall, species to consider, timing, planting windows across the state and a plan for the spring. Listen to the podcast here:

By |September 10, 2018|

Fall Cover Crop Planting Timing

Timing of cover crop planting is essential for achieving your goals and getting the most biological and economical value out of the cover crop species you have selected to meet them. That is equally true when we talk about planting cover crops in the fall ahead of corn or soybeans. Each cover crop species can provide its own unique benefits to both the following crop as well as the soil. For us to realize the benefits of cover crops they must be properly managed and good management starts with the appropriate seeding date. If we expect payback from our [...]

By |September 7, 2018|

How to improve continuous soybean rotations

This past season farmers planted 10.9 million acres of soybeans in llinois, up 3% from the previous year, according to the latest USDA NASS survey. A portion of these acres were the result of soybeans following soybeans in the crop rotation. What are some of the considerations we should have when planning a monoculture crop rotation such as beans after beans, and what are some practices that we can adopt to minimize the environmental impacts? Fragile Residue We know that soybean residue is very fragile and even with a minimum amount of disturbance of the soil from tillage it [...]

By |August 28, 2018|

Cover Crops and Soybean Cyst Nematodes (SCN)

Soybean cyst nematodes (SCN) are one of the most detrimental pathogens of soybeans—they are considered the No. 1 yield-robbing pest for United State soybean farmers. Nematodes in general account for billions of dollars in crop loss worldwide each year. According to the United Soybean Board, SCN affects farmers in more than 30 states and causes an estimated loss of $1.5 billion worth of soybean production annually. A lot of this loss goes unnoticed as SCN often shows no visible symptoms on the plant. If the plant is under stress it may show signs of yellowing, but the damage and [...]

By |July 28, 2018|

Interseeding Covers

There are vast differences in the crop growing season from Northern to Southern Illinois. These differences can cause challenges in the establishment and growth of a cover crop. In Northern Illinois, spring weather conditions warm up later and harvest tends to be later in the fall past the appropriate time for seeding cover crops and an earlier killing frost typically occurs. In Southern Illinois, spring conditions arrive much earlier and harvest is earlier and there are more days ahead of a killing fall frost. Alternative methods of cover crop establishment are being explored throughout the state and across the [...]

By |June 1, 2018|

Terminating Covers Completely

Each year, more and more farmers are adopting the practice of planting cereal rye ahead of soybeans as a cover crop. And each year we have new situations arise that we don’t anticipate during the spring planting season. If you are growing specialty crops like non-GMO soybeans, for example, special precautions should be taken to ensure the crop’s grain is not adulterated at harvest. The specialty grain production contracts have specific requirements that must be met to receive the premium for the grain. Adulterated grain happens at harvest when there is another substance, such as other crop seeds, found [...]

By |April 24, 2018|

Evaluate Your Cereal Rye for Soybean Success

Planting cereal rye before soybeans has become the most widely used cover crop and cash crop combination today. It is readily chosen because of its hardiness, ease of establishment, low cost, multiple planting methods and wide planting window in the fall. Cover crops, like cereal rye, provide many benefits for the upcoming soybean crop such as weed suppression, insect management, disease management, soil erosion prevention, nutrient scavenging and nutrient cycling. But the key to being successful is not only determining your goals when planting cereal rye ahead of soybeans, but to also properly evaluate the cover crop stand and [...]

By |March 5, 2018|
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