All Posts from November 2016

We all know now that 100-bushel soybeans are in the realm of possibility. Kip Culler did it first and repeated it three times, topping off at 160 bushels. Dan Arkels and the Lakey family have done it in Illinois. Matt Miles has repeated it five times over five consecutive years in Arkansas. And Randy Dowdy broke 100 bushels in 2014 and 2015 and hit 171.8 bu in 2016. There have been other growers who have broken through this ceiling...

When your soils are tested does your agronomist or soil lab promote the virtues of tracking the Ca to Mg ratio?

Soil testing is important because it is the only way to track whether your soil is chemically fit to support soybean production. The test shows if you need to apply phosphorus, potassium or lime and the levels of other nutrients.

When a soil test is run, they analyze for many nutrients...

2016 was a good year for double cropped soybeans.

For those that had double crop soybeans this year the question is “What happened?” In many of the reports I have received, the answer is very high-yielding beans. In some cases, the double crops have out-yielded the full season beans. It is not uncommon to hear reports of double crop bean yields of 50 to 70 bushels per acre—double what we normally expect. So, what exactly happened this...

The long-awaited label allowing dicamba use in dicamba-resistant soybean was granted November 9, 2016, by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), although only one commercial product received that label. Many Illinois farmers anticipate this technology will provide a much-needed solution to challenges caused by weed populations resistant to herbicides from multiple site-of-action groups and other difficult-to-control species...

Oftentimes growers limit themselves to planting only cereal rye after harvesting soybeans or corn. Rye is always a good selection because it will germinate and overwinter, you can plant it any time through the fall, and it will grow next spring. But it is time to think bigger and broader to expand your cover crop benefits.

Winter peas are a great cover crop option, but they come with some challenges. Over the last couple of years, I...

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...

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