Emerson Nafziger, Ph.D., professor of crop sciences and extension agronomist at the University of Illinois, highlights the weather patterns that producers saw throughout Illinois and the corresponding effect it had on plant growth and yield. He also speaks about the research conducted at the University of Illinois on various growing factors including tillage, crop rotation, nitrogen applications and row spacing.


Key Takeaways:

  • The rotation trend has been moving back to the more normal fifty-fifty corn/soybean rotation
  • The corn-to-soybeans yield ratio has been running as much as 3.5 – 4.0 to 1, but in the last 5 or 6 years it has dropped below 3.5; in 2015 it dropped to 3 to 1 (168 bu corn/58 bu soybeans), which makes soybeans more profitable
  • The 9+ inches of rain we received in June had more of a negative impact on corn than soybeans, which were able to recover and compensate
    • Many soybean plants were not at a stage where standing water would have killed them, so yields were still fairly normal at harvest
  • No-till fields did not generate as high yields
  • Soybean yield is highest when following more than one year of corn
    • If you plant soybeans in a field that had soybeans before, expect a 5% lower yield
  • 15-inch rows yielded more than 30-inch rows
  • Optimal yield was achieved when planted from mid April to mid May
  • Supplemental nitrogen had a larger impact than usual in 2015
  • Diseases and insects were not very prevalent during this last growing season

One CEU in Crop Management is available for viewing this webinar.

View the entire slide deck here.

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