Randy Stephens

Impact of Fertilizer on Nodulation

In-furrow soybean fertilization’s impacts on nodulation and reduction in nitrogen fixation. Because soybeans are a legume and have the ability to fix nitrogen (N), fertilization with N is not a common practice. Plants don’t begin to fix much nitrogen until after the middle of June, and wet and cool soil conditions further hamper nitrogen fixation. Many growers are hesitant to apply fertilizer in-furrow either because of salt injury or delaying nodulation. However, if we could discover when to fertilizer soybeans in-furrow and apply nitrogen without inhibiting nitrogen nodulation and fixation—we would be on our way to higher yields. What [...]

By |July 7, 2015|

2015 was the year to put down PREs

This was the year that not using residual herbicide at planting shows. Some farmers got the seed in the ground, but either did not apply a PRE or rains prevented them from applying it. And, unfortunately, there are still too many growers hoping that their post application would work. For several years now we have been telling growers to apply a PRE as a practice to manage weeds resistant to herbicide. And some of them have adopted this to deal with the threat of not being able to manage waterhemp and Palmer that are resistant to glyphosate. But for [...]

By |July 7, 2015|

Agronomy: PPO Chemistry & Weather Conditions

This past two weeks have produced environmental conditions which have led to problems in our soybean fields. The use of PPO herbicides for control of waterhemp, Palmer amaranth and other pigweed species have had an impact on soybean emergence we rarely see in this district.  With the combination of wet and cool conditions these PPO herbicides have caused some conditions that have required replanting in some fields.  What is happening in this situation is the herbicides are being applied pre-emergence over the top of newly planted fields. Soil-residual herbicides are important components of integrated weed management programs and provide [...]

By |May 27, 2015|

Agronomy: Meet Your Soy Envoys: Randy Stephens

Hello, my name is Randy Stephens and I am an agronomist, CCA and work with Helena Chemical in Martinsville, Illinois. Practicing modern agronomy is the solution to higher-yield soybeans.  My excitement in agronomy lies in the adoption of conservation practices and the addition of modern techniques of fertilization to raise soybean yields.  Tillage and fertilizer practices need to be rethought in a lot of instances to break through personal yield barriers.  If you can grow soybeans with less input cost from planting, that is as good as a yield increase.  Traditional planting dates, as well as other cultural practices, [...]

By |April 23, 2015|
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