The 2019 growing season has brought several challenges to Illinois soybean producers. With harvest complete or almost finished, it’s time to take a step back and evaluate what we have learned about soybean production in 2019 and more broadly from the last few years. During this presentation we will discuss planting dates and populations, selecting R.M, row spacing, weed control and seed treatments. This information will be useful as growers begin to help develop management plans for the 2020 soybean crop.

Presenter: Matt Montgomery, Field Agronomist, Pioneer

  • 75% of pods and/or flowers abort – The soybean plant produces more pods and flowers than it will need; spreads risk
    • How do we improve yield?
      • Reduce pod failure
      • Grow the number of pods produced
  • Herbicide/pesticide stewardship
    • Weeds reduce photosynthetic ability and reduce number of pods produced
    • Need new and old tools to battle resistant weeds
      • Metabolic resistance – Plants producing their own metabolizers to chew up formula
    • Pesticide stewardship – The cocktail approach
      • Waterhemp seed is decreased as the number of MOAs increase
      • Similarities between pesticide-resistant weeds and drug resistant pathogens
    • o Weed management is a long-term investment
      • Herbicide purchase is more similar to equipment purchase
  • We sit on the razor’s edge
    • Be good stewards of our limited toolbox
  • Early planting matters
    • 1/3 to 2/3 bushel loss per day of delayed planting
      • You don’t have to be the earliest, but you should be early because it’s going to provide a benefit 9 out of 10 years
    • Increases leaf area duration (LAD)
    • Early season and later in season – Precipitation is the most variable
      • 2019 early planting trend line isn’t as strong – means that a lot of things went right after planting to minimize the impact of delayed planting
Early Season:
  • Protecting stand
    • Grape Colaspis – Neonicotinoids repressed this pest over the last 20 years,  but we are seeing a resurgence recently
      • Really tough on corn – but saw economic injury this year on untreated seed
    • Early season is most temperature variable – lends to soil borne pathogens
    • Increased seed treatment toolbox
      • Allows us to plant beans earlier
      • Decreases seeding rates
    • Consider sampling fields near colaspis-prone areas and use that to tweak management
      • Treated seed
      • Moving planting date later past window for pest to feed on root system
Mid- to Late-Season
  • Dynamic pest
    • 75% of fields in Illinois are probably infected with SCN
      • Resistance is developing
    • SDS look-a-likes: red crown rot
    • Dectes stem borer
    • Frogeye leaf spot
    • Pod & Stem blight
  • Environment
    • The value of fungicide – change in pest environment may change impact of fungicides
      • Don’t be lulled into complacency
  • Nutrient Demand
    • Sulfur fertilization – more so a bean issue than corn issue
      • Sulfur studies conducted in late 1970s before corn and soybean yields took off
      • Assess sulfur via strip trials
      • The day will come (if the current trend continues) when soil sulfur supply will be inadequate
  • Pod Fill
    • Late July through August is a very critical time for soybean stress because this is when pod fill usually happens
      • Large variability during reproductive stages
  • • Maturity and Yield
    • I-72 corridor: hard to determine predictable pattern
      • Environment is too variable to predict relative maturity – spread risk and plant variety of maturities

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