Todd Steinacher

Understanding the Road Map of Soybean Reproduction

Planting soybeans can sometimes be simple, however growing soybeans can be challenging, and growing 100 bu soybeans consistently can be very challenging. Over the last 10 years, there have been major leaps forward in improving soybean genetics and agronomic practices. I always challenge growers to be a student of their fields and that if they are listening, their fields are telling them what’s wrong, but only if we’re willing to listen. As a soybean producer, it’s important to evaluate what you’re seeing or not seeing in a particular field and start asking the question of why. As most know, [...]

By |August 12, 2021|

Don’t Give Up – Manage to R7

The reproductive stages of the soybean plant are focused on producing high pod counts and, more importantly, preserving as many as possible. During this time, a soybean plant is trying to balance its hormones and determine what number of pods and seeds it can successfully feed and finish. Stress (disease, nutritional, insect, water, or heat) during these stages can cause the plant to eliminate pods and seeds. High-yielding corn growers and agronomists say, “manage to black layer.” This means, don’t give up on a crop until it’s done. I have documented that when a corn plant reaches ¾ milk [...]

By |August 12, 2021|

How Do You Select Soybeans, And Why?

There are many considerations that go into planting a soybean crop: 1. Planting Date: In 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) planting progress reports for Illinois continually showed that Illinois soybean producers were planting a larger percentage of soybean acres earlier than the previous year, and even the five-year average. 2. Seed Treatments: Since early planting has become a more widely accepted practice, many soybean producers are deciding to treat their soybeans from stresses associated with the soil, environment and opportunist critters. 3. Seeding Rates: Since Illinois soybean producers are planting earlier and using seed treatments, the trend for seeding rates [...]

By |August 10, 2021|

Cultural Change for Row Spacing: Wide vs. Narrow

There is no right way to farm, however, there have been many methods of farming that have been tried and tested. When thinking about weed control, our industry once relied heavily on mechanical control, which eventually lead to major erosion and environmental impact. When glyphosate-tolerant soybeans were introduced to the market, they allowed for less tillage, reducing environmental impact. Over the past 10 years, chemical controls alone have given Mother Nature the opportunity to evolve weed biology. In my areas, mechanical control has started to be reintroduced to the acre, which also reintroduced its environmental impact. It’s now time [...]

By |August 6, 2021|

Evaluating Early Planting Soybean

Planting a crop can be an emotional roller coaster for a farmer, besides selling grain too soon. My grandfather would say “put your bare bottom” on the soil and if you cringe, it’s too cold and too early to plant. Based off how often I heard this same story this past spring, the generation prior to us was definitely one of the greatest. The last three springs have brought up a lot of debate on when we should or should not be planting. In general, a soybean plant can withstand early season challenges better than a corn plant. And [...]

By |July 26, 2021|

Considerations for Insecticide Use

For many in the agriculture industry, a soybean field is an amazing population of plants that convert sunlight energy and nutrients into a high volume output of oil and proteins. However, to insect populations, a soybean field is an amazing buffet! Regardless of what we plant and when we plant it, Mother Nature will always send a critter to feed on it. If food sources are good, many insect populations will flourish in population and cause crop injury. As the 2021 soybean crop enters R3-R4 and R5-R6, be on the look out for bean leaf beetles and stink bugs [...]

By |July 20, 2021|

Tissue Sampling Considerations for Higher Yields

In many parts of the state, soybean fields are planted and ready to start growing. I can sense the genetic potential of the 2021 soybean crop. A soybean plant actively absorbs nutrients and moisture as it grows and develops new plant parts that advance through its vegetative and reproductive growth stages. As the plant undergoes photosynthesis, develops nodules, develops new root zones, and other activities, it utilizes nutrients. These nutrients are referred to as essential nutrients, because without them a soybean plant cannot grow and develop as needed. When a plant needs more ‘supplies’ (nutrients) and the soil is [...]

By |June 14, 2021|

Five Tips For a Smoother and More Profitable Post-Emergence Herbicide Application

The 2021 planting season ran long again this year, starting in late March and continuing into early June. Most growers may schedule their summer or task out by calendar; however, a weed seed plans its unwanted arrival based off growing degree unit, or GDU (heat), and how soon the pre-emerge soybean residual gives up. This means that very soon, it’s going to become difficult to complete post-emergence in crop herbicide application, especially with products that have a stop use date associated with them. Here are some tips to help make post soybean herbicide application a little smoother. 1. Don't [...]

By |June 9, 2021|

It’s Time to Scout From The Field, Not The Road

Scouting has become a historical activity in many areas and has been replaced with a drive-by at 15 MPH. Yes, if one can see green rows across the field it may seem as if the crop is developing nicely. However, as they say, the devil is in the details. So now that I have piqued your interest in wanting to go walk a soybean field, now what? Below are some items of what to look for and track. 1. Stand Establishment Stand counts should be performed early in the crop’s life cycle to determine the need for replanting and/or “beefing” [...]

By |June 9, 2021|

Three Considerations Before Making Soybean Replant Decisions

A final soybean population stand of 90,000-110,000 planted early can still support optimum yield potential. However, if soybean population stand counts are between 50,000-70,000, you may need to consider beefing up the stand. When soybean populations become too low, it often leads to a weak and delayed canopy and will become harder for managing weeds. Another consideration is that at lower populations, some soybean varieties may “flex” their canopy too much and eventually have standability issues. There has been plenty of population yield trials conducted across the state in recent years showing that lower population of soybeans can still [...]

By |May 10, 2021|
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