My Opinion On Liquid Fertilizers as a Total Program to Replace P and K
I have had a few recent conversations about liquid fertilizers that are either soil applied or foliar applied as well the questionable promotion that is being put out there.
Double-crop soybeans in the ground: What do I need to do now?
If you took Kelly Robertson’s advice from last month’s blog, you’re on your way to a successful double-crop season. The main drawback is having to deal with Mother Nature. Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve had excessive rainfall in many areas which slowed wheat harvest and planting of double-crops. Then the heat rolled in, knocking the test weight out of the wheat and producing a bunch of small grains that passed right through the combine. Then on June 28th we had a large storm push through from the north that brought heavy rains and high wind, which flattened [...]
Phosphorus Management and the 4Rs
Phosphorus (P) also impacts water quality and is a common cause of hypoxia in surface water bodies. Phosphorus can be lost as soluble P in a water leachate or move off the landscape with soil particles and enter watersheds. Phosphorus (P) Management: Right Rate: Phosphorus rates for Illinois are based upon the “Soil Buildup and Maintenance” fertilization scheme. The Buildup is based on the inherent P-supplying power (low, medium and high) of the various soil regions in the state and has slightly different associated soil test values (visit the Illinois Agronomy Handbooks to view the state chart). The main [...]
Nitrogen Management and the 4Rs
Editor’s Note: This is the 4th part in a 4-part series on the 4Rs and nutrient management. Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are the two main concerns when addressing impairments to water quality. In some landscapes nitrogen is the problem and in others phosphorus is the issue. Our Federal Drinking Water Standard is 10 ppm nitrate (N). Yet we are seeing large amounts of nitrate leaching off the landscape or exiting through tile lines and entering surface water bodies from big (the Gulf) to small (Lake Bloomington). Proper Nitrogen (N) Management: Right Rate: In the past, Illinois used the [...]
The 4Rs and Illinois NLRS
Editor’s Note: This is the 2nd part in a 4-part series on the 4Rs and nutrient management. Illinois has adopted its own Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS) to reduce nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) losses from the landscape. Nitrogen and P are our two main concerns when addressing impairments to water quality. We have a Federal Drinking Water Standard that allows a maximum of 10 ppm nitrate (N). This nitrate must be removed by the municipal water treatment facilities. Hence, the problems we are seeing in Iowa, Lake Erie and the Chesapeake Bay area. When it comes to [...]
Soil Sampling and Soil Tests 101
Editor’s Note: This is the 1st part in a 4-part series on the 4Rs and nutrient management. Soil sampling and testing is not an exact science, but it is one of the many tools farmers have to improve profitability and maximize yield potential. Soil testing combined with plant tissue testing, yield results and other field data, help growers to make sound nutrient management decisions all season long. I’ve outlined some best practices for successful soil sampling on your farm in this, part-1 in a 2-part series, covering “Nutrient Management and the 4Rs.” Sample Number A soil probe is the [...]
Agronomy: Summarizing the Soybean Season from Southwest Illinois
Well, this is my last article as the season comes to a close as a Soybean Envoy for 2016. I’m going to hit a few highlights as harvest progresses in southwestern Illinois. Soybean production faced some challenges which kept our yields below the rest of the state. There have been very few soybean fields harvested at this point. Those fields were planted fairly early and were late Group 3s or early Group 4s. Thus far the yields have been surprisingly good considering the environmental extremes we had this year. The lowest reported yields have been 47 bu/acre, with 58 [...]
Agronomy: Part 2: What do you feel is the biggest challenge in raising soybeans?
Last month I switched things up and posed this question to some of my customers (twice) with the general consensus that weed control is the #1 challenge when raising soybeans and then received a myriad of responses on the #2 challenge. Therefore, I am going to address some of these other challenges. They are in no particular order of importance. “LibertyLink® is working well, but now crop injury from the PRE’s is an issue." I must admit, I do not get real excited when I see a little crop injury from a pre-emergence herbicide. The labels on most of [...]
Agronomy: What is the biggest challenge in raising soybeans?
This month I decided to switch things up just a bit by posing that question to several of my customers across southwest Illinois. The general consensus was that Weed Control is the #1 challenge. Here are a few of the responses I got: “Herbicide Resistant Weeds”, “The cost of having to use chemicals that are not working well”, “Waterhemp”, “Gramoxone didn’t work”, and “Weed Control is #1, but Liberty Link® has really helped with POST applications. But now crop injury from the Pre’s is an issue”. The responses I received did not work out quite as I had anticipated, as [...]
Insect Management: Scout Early, Scout Often
Soybean planting was a slow process due to the fluctuating temperatures and excessive moisture in many areas. A month ago, while scouting and assessing wheat for stripe rust, I found mature green stink bugs and red-legged grasshoppers. The irony of the situation was that these are generally considered late-season insects. This means that they survived our rather mild winter. Above: Green Stinkbug Many pests and threats have arrived early this year. A good example is the early germination of waterhemp. I can only assume that insects are going to be an early problem as well. My weeds professor in college, [...]