Mike Wilson

Controlling Marestail with a Fall Application

With all the challenges we have faced in 2019, I figure we’ll see a few more before December gets here. One that particularly concerns me is marestail that will germinate this fall because of the weed seed bank in some areas across the state. This past spring and summer most were unable to get residuals down in a timely manner. This has led to more escaped weeds than we would like, some of which is marestail that has, or will, go to seed. So, how do we address this issue? What herbicides or combination of herbicides are most effective? [...]

By |October 21, 2019|

Agronomy: Soybean Yields Are Improving in Illinois

I recently read an article by Gary Schnitkey on farmdoc in regard to the relative decline of soybean yields in Illinois compared to corn yields. Many agronomists around the state, me included, have been bemoaning these stagnant yields for the last decade. Gary makes a great point about how growers have neglected innovation in soybean production while concentrating on improving corn yields. Up until the last 4 years I would have agreed with him whole-heartedly. However, the yields since 2011, except for the drought in 2012, have steadily and significantly improved throughout the state. Here in Southern Illinois we [...]

By |November 9, 2016|

Agronomy: Summarizing the Soybean Season from Southeast Illinois

As I write this, my final report as an Envoy, #harvest16 is in full swing. Corn is all but done here in Southeastern Illinois and soybean harvest is really just getting started. Initial yield reports have been very mixed: the earlier varieties like group 3-3.5 have been not as good as hoped, but the later 3.8-4.5 maturities are much better. As we expected, weed control is still an issue as it has slowed harvest for many. Fall herbicide applications have begun in hopes of getting a jump on weed control for 2017. Many of the trial results for improved [...]

By |October 19, 2016|

Agronomy: Dicamba Misapplication – Or how I learned to love crinkled beans!

In my time as a Soy Envoy for the past two growing seasons I have attempted to give advice in an unbiased way, trying not to let my personal opinions come through too much. I just want to present facts as I have seen them and leave the soapbox in the closet. Well, that is going to end today! We have been hearing for two months about the damage done to off-target crops in the south by the off-label misapplication of dicamba on tolerant soybeans and cotton. Now whether I think dicamba is the cure-all for our weed resistance [...]

By |September 30, 2016|

Agronomy: Wrapping up for the ’16 season

As we start to wrap up the 2016 growing season it’s time sit back and reflect on what we learned this spring and summer. Most of us only get to grow one crop per year and the lessons we can gain, if we pay attention, will help with the coming year’s crops. Try to think about what worked, what didn’t and what you would do differently. Is it clear in your mind, did you write things down? If you can recall every instance in every field you are much better than I am. That is why “on-farm research” is [...]

By |August 26, 2016|

Agronomy: What does tissue testing tell us?

This past weekend I was scrolling through Twitter and came across a feed that had been started by a well-known and respected Illinois agronomist posting an article from Academia in Arkansas on the use of tissue testing as a guide for foliar nutrition applications (it’s a very good article, by the way). This started a lively debate on the merits of foliars and the value of tissue testing at all. While I do not plan to jump into that debate and sat quietly on the sidelines, I will share my opinion for what it is worth. First, tissue testing is [...]

By |July 22, 2016|

Agronomy: Strategies for finishing out the soybean season

It’s after mid-July; do you know what your soybeans are doing? Here we sit either waiting on a rain or waiting for it to stop, most of the corn has tasseled and life is good as we wait for harvest. We have done all we can for this crop…..or have we? Have you scouted your soybeans fields lately? Have you checked for insect problems… any late weed issues… or maybe a disease popping up? And what does the crop look like from above, are their pockets of stress that you can’t see from the road? Well, maybe you shouldn’t get [...]

By |July 19, 2016|

Agronomy: To replant or not replant, that is the question.

As I sit here in my office I can hear the patter of raindrops outside the window. It is late May and we are still trying to get corn and soybeans planted down here. Now we will have at least another day’s delay as this little shower has to dry up. This isn’t the first time I’ve dealt with this kind of weather and I am sure it won’t be the last. It does, however, come with its own set of problems to deal with. What few soybeans we do have planted have gone through a gamut of problems: cold [...]

By |June 1, 2016|

Agronomy: Soybeans: A Season Long Commitment

Most farmers I know work like dogs from the first dry day in March through the time corn is “laid by,” usually around the 4th of July. After that, the corn has pollinated most years and it is time to mow roadsides, county fair time and time for family vacations. But with soybeans, the time to really emphasize management has just begun. One of the most frequent questions I get from growers is “Why can’t I grow better beans than I did 10 years ago?” That is a good question; genetics are much better, and we understand the need [...]

By |April 22, 2016|

Plant and Soil Health: Micro and Secondary Nutrients on Soybeans: What’s the story?

Recently, I read an article published by a well-respected group of academic researchers on the effects of micronutrients applied to soybeans. Their results showed no increase in yield and inconsistent increases in plant tissue and grain micronutrient content on plots treated with one product or combination of products. I have no doubt, on the plots they tested, the results they published are correct. Many times in small, replicated plots very little if any yield changes are achieved regardless of what is being tested. There can be several reasons for this. Most of the time these plots are planted on [...]

By |March 29, 2016|
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