Funded by the Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program.


“Lock”ed Out: Waterway System Updates Crucial to Profitability

Expiration dates are included on products such as food and drink, batteries and medicine to indicate they may not be safe or reliable to consume after the indicated time. Often, risks can be associated with using an expired product. The same could be said for waterway locks and dams. While they don’t come with an expiration date, they do come with an engineered lifespan of about 50 years. Many locks have been in use for close to 80 years, with minimal improvements, due to a lack of funding. Locks in use beyond their lifespan can increase the risks of [...]

By |June 18, 2018|

Dropping Soybean Population

Over the past few years, the Illinois Soybean Association has been working with the Iowa On-Farm Network (OFN) to evaluate promising production practices. The two most common concepts tested were population and row spacing, which are easy to implement in an on-farm scenario. One of the requirements for participating is collecting as-planted and yield maps. Along the way data is collected on plant stand after emergence and an aerial image of the trial site is captured during fill in August. In one 2017 trial in Whiteside County a grower compared seeding rates of 100,000 and 160,000 using strip trials [...]

By |April 1, 2018|

Illinois Study Explores Cover Crops to manage Soybean Cyst Nematode

New research funded by the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff program is looking at cover crops, including winter wheat, as potential aids in the battle against soybean cyst nematode (SCN). The study builds on previous trials in Illinois and Kentucky that showed promise for use of cover crops to reduce SCN egg populations. In the mid-1990s, a University of Kentucky study indicated no-tilling soybeans into wheat stubble suppressed SCN egg production and reduced counts. Research by former University of Illinois Extension educator Mike Plumer also documented SCN egg reductions following grass cover crops. “These were limited trials, but if [...]

By |February 28, 2018|

Investment Insight: Recent Research Results

Conducting nutrient research on-farm allows researchers to evaluate performance of various practices designed to reduce nutrient loss (i.e. winter cover cropping) under real farming conditions. That’s why Lowell Gentry and his team from the University of Illinois are conducting research using whole fields to investigate fertilizer practices as well as in-field and edge-of field techniques that show promise for reducing nutrient runoff, especially nutrients in tile drainage water. This university research team has 3 complementary NREC grants that are producing relevant results. A collection of what they have learned over the past three years follows: 1.) Cover crops can [...]

By |February 6, 2018|

Adapt and Excel in Changing R&D Environment

What’s new? Does it pencil out? As farmers plan for next season, most compare new seed varieties, trait packages and crop protection options to their current programs. “When we look at new products, we want to see data and cost,” says Jenny Mennenga, who farms near LeRoy, Ill. “We need to understand where data come from, if advantages are significant, and if we will get back product costs in either yield or value. A yield change of just one or two bushels doesn’t even show up on yield maps.” Farmers traditionally have had a variety of third-party data, including [...]

By |January 17, 2018|

The North Central Soybean Research Program

The North Central Soybean Research Program (NCSRP) has been funding soybean research since 1992. It’s supported by checkoff dollars provided by 12 state checkoff boards in the upper Midwest. States and their universities involved include Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Learn more here. The mission of the NCSRP is to maximize producer returns by coordinating regional research efforts, minimizing duplication of research, and assuring that regional research projects target problems faced by producer in the region. It is led by a board of farmer directors. The NCSRP Board approved [...]

By |April 17, 2017|

Calling Illinois soybean growers

This article was originally published on The University of Illinois, College of ACES News website. URBANA, Ill. – Last spring, a new multi-state research project funded by the North Central Soybean Research Program was initiated to investigate the effects of weather, soils, and management on soybean yields. The project’s University of Illinois leader put out a call to soybean farmers to help gather data for the project. “We were looking to gather basic information on at least 500 Illinois soybean fields for each of the crop years 2014 and 2015; the project runs through 2017,” says U of I [...]

By |February 6, 2017|

Soybean Research Leads to Better Production Practices

As the 2016 crop season ends, now is the time to look back and note what worked and what didn’t. I have spoken with farmers throughout southern Illinois who achieved some of the best whole farm soybean yield averages they’ve ever seen. But even though there were record yields, I’ve received calls from farmers who know there is still room for improvement. Whether it’s because the new soybean yield record was set at 171 bu/acre this year, or that soybean yields have just been good, as an agronomist it’s exciting to see farmers already looking forward to taking soybean [...]

By |November 14, 2016|

Agronomy: U of I Research News: Bioreactors ready for the big time

Bioreactors are passive filtration systems that can reduce nitrate losses from farm fields. Most bioreactors are simple pits filled with wood chips; bacteria on the wood chips remove 25 to 45 percent of the nitrate in runoff water. Research summarized in a special issue of the Journal of Environmental Quality highlights their potential applications and provides insight into design options. URBANA, Ill. – Last summer, the Gulf of Mexico’s “dead zone” spanned more than 6,400 square miles, more than three times the size it should have been, according to the Gulf Hypoxia Task Force. Nitrogen runoff from farms along [...]

By |May 5, 2016|

Trans Update: Basis & Rail Reports

Did you know that over the past couple of years as much as 43 – 44% of soybeans grown in Illinois were exported? Efficient transportation systems and sound infrastructure ensure Illinois soybean farmers maintain a competitive advantage in the global marketplace. Learn the latest on transportation in this monthly update. Transportation Update, June 2015 Slight Strengthening of Soybean Basis Soybean basis levels have strengthened slightly at the end of May into early June, a reflection of the Center Gulf’s strong basis rate creeping up the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. Southern Illinois farmers may note this basis change, but elsewhere [...]

By |June 16, 2015|
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