All Posts from August 2016

Kris Reynolds, CCA and resource conservationist for the Montgomery County Soil and Water Conservation District, reviews the fundamentals of cover crops in this podcast. He explains what farmers should consider when selecting a cover crop, and emphasizes the importance of management when incorporating cover crops into their operation. He notes there will be a learning curve when trying something new, but encourages growers to continue...

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...

Ivan Dozier, state conservationist for the Illinois Natural Resources Conservation Service, delves into the basics of organic matter, including short-term versus long-term organic buildup. He explains the benefits of the mulch effect, which include preventing erosion, suppressing weeds, improving tilth and helping soil maintain moisture. Growers can see the benefits of the mulch effect...

Probably the most common disease in soybeans is brown spot, also known as Septoria brown spot. It is a fungal disease caused by the pathogen Septoria glycines. It is very common across the Corn Belt and appears in about all soybean fields to some degree. The disease is usually present in the lower canopy, but can move upwards if weather is warm and moist.

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Many people do yield checks of corn and feel they can get relatively close (+/- 10 percent) to the actual yield. On the other hand, yield checks of soybeans seem to be much more difficult and getting within +/- 25 percent is doing fairly well. In my experience, most people over estimate the yield of soybeans. Generally, this is because they overestimate one or more of the yield factors—plant population, pod count, seed count or seed size....

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...

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