Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

Harvest continues, yields, wheat planting

The last three weeks have been very busy, as combines are rolling across the entire area. My previous update talked about our first harvested field that hit 78 bpa. If that concerned you, don't worry, I havent', and most likely won't, see anything close to that again this year. That field was a special situation in which early planting, relatively early maturity, and adequate rainfall at that location led to a near perfect storm in a year like this.

My most recent yield numbers are more reflective of what I am hearing for yield number across the state. More recent yields have range anywhere from 19 to 49 bpa. Fortunately, most seeds were in the ground within the optimum planting window this year, or we might be looking at an even uglier situation.

I'm getting quite a few questions about wheat planting this year. Dr. Chad Lee put out a very informative article about the not so stellar options we have this year when planting the wheat crop. The link is below.

Wheat Planting: Two options and neither is great

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Harvest is underway

The first field for SoyMVP 2010 was harvested on Tuesday, September 7. This field was planted in Henderson County with a 3.9 maturity soybean on April 22. We achieved a yield average of around 78 bushels per acre across the field. If your yields aren't up there, don't worry, this isn't going to be the norm for this year. The Henderson County location received several timely rains that we really didn't get anywhere else in west Kentucky this year.

I'll keep updating as harvest continues.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

250 acres in 11 minutes!

A new Guinness World Record was set in Winkler, Manitoba, Canada when 200 combines simultaneously harvested a single field. The combines took care of approximately 250 acres of wheat in 11 minutes. The event was held in an effort to raise money for children's camps.

Check out the website http://harvestforkids.com/ for more information.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Field shots

Just some pictures taken along the way this season...

Crop update

Depending on where I go in the state, the looks of the soybean crop can change quite dramatically. I would describe the majority of our program fields as good or excellent, while a couple are extremely dry (see below).

To view weekly crop reports, go here.

We've reached R4-R5 in most of our fields, with the double crop fields being around R2. Disease and insect pressure is noticeably lower than usual and is vastly different than what we saw last year, particularly with diseases. I've seen some SDS but you really have to look for it to find it. I'll be really interested to see what kind of effects we get from fungicides this year. We'll have several comparisons on.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Taylor County Extension Field Day

I want to send out a Thank You to Pat Hardesty and the rest of the folks at the Taylor County Extension office for having me out to speak about SoyMVP at their field day on July 20. They had an excellent turnout and I got to meet a lot of good people in an area of the state I don't get to often.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Much needed rain

While corn has been showing signs of being dry for the last week or two, soybeans in most of the areas I visit were just starting to show. Considering most of our full season beans are between R1 and R3 right now, this rain across much of the region is coming at a very important time. The replenished moisture will aid in pod set for those plants still flowering and will assist in early seed fill for those plants a little further along.

This rain event will also be a huge aid to those double crop beans that have been planted in the last three weeks. Dry soils in some areas were causing struggles in these late planted beans to get up and get going. This rain combined with the forecasted temperatures over the next few days should really make them take off.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Planting completed

All of our full season beans have been planted. Our first field went in the ground in late April and our last on June 7. I'm excited about this because it's a very good representation of common planting practices in this part of the state. Last year we got a good grasp of late planted full season beans, but this year we'll get some data from soybean that would be considered somewhat early for Kentucky to those that are right at the back edge of 'normal' planting.

Those earliest planted beans have already reached R2 and are at full canopy, while the latest are yet to reach V1, with some still emerging. I set a plant population target of 100,000 plants per acre across all planting dates, so that should give us some good data compared to the adjacent fields with higher plant populations.

I've seen a lot of yellow soybean fields so far this season. I suspect that it relates to the amount of water we've had out there early in the season. My field that is at R2 was yellow early on but couldn't look better at this point. It simply takes a while (R3-R4 in this case) for nitrogen fixation to really take off and for that dark green coloration to come on. The high moisture levels can delay when this happens even further.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Some field shots

On this rainy June day, I thought it would be a good time to post some shots from the early part of the 2010 season.

Fighting through

Think these are seeded a little too heavy?

Very nice stand of beans in Henderson County.

We've had a lot of hard rain in the early part of this season.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Planting continuing

Soybean planting has picked up over the last week. This hot, dry weather has come at a good time. We have six SoyMVP fields planted, with at least six more to go.

Early emergence number look very good; 85-90% in those fields that have completed emergence. We got 92% emergence in a field planted April 22. With these warm air and soil temperatures, I see this trend continuing through the end of the growing season.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Soybean Links

*The following agriculturally relevant links are for your information only. They don't represent an endorsement of any of the ideas presented.

Genetically modified crops may not be environmentally harmful

As one representative from the organic sector put it, agricultural biotechnology is kind of like the Force: It's not inherently good or bad -- what matters is how you use it.

Farmers say risk management program too complex

The Average Crop Revenue Election program provides revenue support as an alternative to the price support that farmers are used to receiving from commodity programs. If a state's revenue falls below the guarantee, farmers who signed up for ACRE could receive payments.

Hoosier USB Director says Corn and Soybean Checkoff Investment Working

Schriver told HAT that a lot of people don’t understand the importance of making sure consumers understand where Indiana farm products actually come from.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Drying out

While this spring looked like it was going to provide us with perfect early planting conditions, it's slowly turning into a late planting situation again for many areas of the state. Much of the state's corn crop is, or has been under water. Our SoyMVP fields that made it in the ground early have suffered the same fate.

Hopefully, the rain that is expected this week will be minimal or will hold off altogether so that we can get back on track.

For more information on flood damage to corn, please see the following posts made by Chad Lee on the Grain Crops Update Blog.

Flood Damage to Corn

Estimating N Losses in Wet Soils

Herbicide Issues in Flood Damaged Corn Fields

Below is an excellent resource with several links pertaining to flood damage in both corn and soybean.

Crop Management Information for Flood-Damaged Field Crops

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Daviess County Research Trials

I recently had the opportunity to help out with the corn variety trials in Daviess County. Paul Winkler, Adult Vocational Agriculture Instructor in Daviess County, coordinated the trials for the week. We were able to put out seven variety trials with seven different producers over the five day period. I came away impressed with both the research program in the county and the number of great producers that Paul and the Extension Service have established relationships with through the years. One producer that is doing a corn hybrid trial will also be participating in SoyMVP for the 2010 season.

Paul, Clint Hardy, and the cooperators in Daviess County do an excellent job with this program. Results from their 2009 corn, soybean, and wheat trials can be found below:

2009 Daviess County Research and Demonstration Plot Book

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Crop Progress

The National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS) puts out a weekly crop progress update every Monday.

The update can be found here.

This is a good way to keep up with how things are going in the state, as well as the other corn and producing states throughout the country. While soybeans are yet to make the list, corn planting as 74% complete as of Monday, April 26, compared to 35% one week ago and 18% one year ago.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

SoyMVP and related articles

A couple of my articles have shown up in recent publications. If you have access to the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer either in print or online, an article on SoyMVP was in there this past Sunday, April 18.

There are also a couple of articles in the new Spring 2010 issue of the Kentucky Soybean Sentinel. Check them out if you get a chance.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

First 2010 SoyMVP field planted

We got our first field planted yesterday, April 20. This is quite the contrast to our first field last year, which went in on June 3.

The seeding rate we used was 120,000, which I fully expect to give a stand of 100,000 considering the conditions and soil temperatures hovering around 70 degrees. This field has a seed treatment vs. non-seed treatment comparison, so I'll let you know how stand establishment goes and any differences we see between the crops throughout the season.

Many of the concerns we see from early planting aren't as big of an issue as they would normally be, so I'll be anxious to see what kind of effects we get from these treatments.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Planting soybeans in April

Needless to say, planting conditions this spring have been fantastic. I talked to several producers toward the end of last week that were either finished with corn planting or planned on finishing over the weekend. One producer in Henderson County told me he finished planting on April 15, one day before he started planting in 2009. What a difference a year makes. Now we cross our fingers that the rain we saw in-season last year makes it's return this season.

In the past, convention has led to the delay of soybean planting until May 1, even if corn planting was completed earlier. A check last week in Daviess county revealed a soil temperature of 68 degrees, a number rarely seen this early in the year (more on Daviess county later). We could talk all day about the advantages of planting soybean early. You generally get more nodes, reduce evaporative water loss, get earlier canopy closure, and increase yield potential overall. Lots of good things, right? While all of the is great, we must also look at the potential negatives of planting early.

These elevated soil temperatures negate one of the major problems normally associated with early planting dates - reduced stand at low soil temperatures. This temperature is well beyond the low end, where cold damage can occur to seeds in the first 24 hours after planting.

As far as air temperatures go, we are beyond our average frost free date for this part of the state. While the extremely late frost dates are still in effect, it typically takes a temperature of 28 degrees or below to damage soybean tissue. I feel pretty confident that we are beyond that point. If it gets down that low again this year, we are all most likely in trouble. To view Kentucky frost free dates, click here.

With reduced stands and low air temperatures being less of an issue, we then turn our attention to some other issues with early planted soybean.

*Bean leaf beetles - This insect pest is more common in early planted soybean. Their feeding on unifoliates and early trifoliates must be monitored, as this not only causes plant injury but also may lead to Bean Pod Mottle Virus (BPMV). Insect levels must be monitored and insecticide applied if deemed necessary to combat these insects.

*Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) - This disease is normally associated with early planting because early planting is normally associated with cool, wet soils. While this is not the case this year, we should still take some precaution, as earlier infection will lead to more severe symptoms later in the year. The best plant of attack for SDS is to plant resistant varieties. This hasn't been a trait that producers have considered extremely important in the past, but is one that should be, and is, getting more recognition.

*Photoperiod effects - While this is an extreme, it may be worth a mention since we are already on the subject. If the plants do emerge in April, there may be some effect of the shorter photoperiod associated with this time of year, compared to those beans emerging in early-mid May. These shorter periods could lead to soybean plants flowering extremely early, thereby shortening the reproductive period, an obvious detriment to yield potential.

I fully expect at least two of our SoyMVP fields to go in this week. Again, this is a huge contrast from 2009, when our first field went in on June 3. That's what this program is designed for though; actual field production and the issues that producers see every year. We saw one extreme last year, and are at the other end this year. I'm looking forward to it.


Friday, April 9, 2010

Soybean Links - April 9

*Linked articles are for your information only and don't necessarily represent endorsement of any media outlet or agricultural company.

Farm and Ranch Guide: Ground Broken on Expanded Soybean Processing Facility

In response to steadily increasing soybean acres in North Dakota, Monsanto Company broke ground on April 1 for an expanded Asgrow soybean seed processing facility in West Fargo.

Delta Farm Press: Residual Herbicide Program in Soybeans

There has a lot been written about the use of residual herbicides in soybeans and it is time for some of them to be going out.

I recommend the use of a residual program whether you are planting Roundup Ready, LibertyLink or conventional soybeans.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Soybean Links - April 7

*I'm going to start including links here on the blog to articles and issues relevant to soybean producers, researchers, and agribusiness professionals. Linked articles are for your information only and don't necessarily represent endorsement of any media outlet or agricultural company.

New York Times: U.S. Farmers Plan a Record Soybean Planting

American farmers expect to plant 88.8 million acres of corn — the second-largest acreage since 1946 — and a record 78.1 million acres of soybeans in response to high prices for the crops, the government said on Wednesday.

While the survey results point to the prospect of bumper crops, the acreage figures were slightly below trade expectations of 89.2 million acres for corn and 78.5 million acres of soybeans.

With normal weather and yields, the planting intentions would result in a corn crop of 13.1 billion bushels, roughly equal to the record set last year, and a soybean crop of 3.3 billion, just under the 2009 record, according to Reuters calculations.

Oregon Company gets EPA grant to study Soy adhesive

Soybean flour is abundant, renewable and readily available, the EPA said in a news release, and the curing agent used in making the adhesive is derived from glycerol, a widely-used organic compound.

Delta Farm Press: Soybean Seed Quality Good

“The seed companies are saying there will be plenty of quality seed, and the seed division of the Arkansas State Plant Board reports the soybean seed quality for the state is good as well” says Jeremy Ross, soybean agronomist with the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.

Monday, April 5, 2010

SoyMVP 2009 revisited and what 2010 holds

2009 Revisited

For fields enrolled in SoyMVP in 2009, average yield for the half using UK recommendations was 52.5 bushels per acre on average, compared to 51.8 bushels per acre using producer practices. Average partial returns using UK recommendations was $438.50, compared to $422.01 using producer practices.

For full season soybean, average yield was 54.4 bu/a under UK recommendations, compared to 52.7 bu/a using producer practices, with partial net returns of $462.21 and $436.01, respectively.

For double crop soybean, average yield was 48.8 bu/a under UK recommedations, compared to 49.8 bu/a using producer practices, with partial net returns of $389.06 and $393.99, respectively.

Again, I'd like to commend the producers we worked with in 2009. It's both encouraging and rewarding to see you using sound management practices and strategies. Kentucky farmers are as good as any in the world.


The SoyMVP program is in full swing for 2010. We are already set up for more fields this year than we had in the program in 2009, with more being added this week. By popular request, we have fields in both the Green River area and Ohio River bottoms this year, as well as several fields in the Purchase once again. It will make for a good deal of travel but will give us results from a greater portion of the soybean producing area of the state.

We will also have our first irrigated field in the program this year in Henderson County. I personally feel that covering as many environments that we see in the state as possible will make the program as efficient and effective as it can be.

Yield Challenge

We are still looking for more participants in the 2010 soybean Yield Challenge. Get with your county agent or contact me at jmsarv2@uky.edu or 859-317-3142 if you need more information regarding this program.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Happy Ag Week 2010

National Ag Week runs from March 14-20, with National Ag Day falling on March 20. AgDay.org describes National Ag Day as "A day to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture".

Check out the website linked above for more info.

Planting season is fast approaching. We are crossing our fingers for good planting conditions this spring. I am excited about SoyMVP, year two. We got some of the year one kinks worked out and have added fields so we have a lot to look forward to.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Varieties for 2010

Variety selection is one of the most important factors effecting profitability in soybean production.

After attending Commodity Classic in Anaheim March 4-6, it's obvious that there has never been more competition for your seed dollars. This is a good thing, as technology and innovation are also at an all-time high.

If you are still considering varieties for this year, review the 2009 Kentucky Soybean Performance Tests for assistance in making these decisions. A variety of sources should be used to make varietal decisions. Depending on your location within the state, variety test results from the following locations may also be beneficial. Note that most are broken into regions, making those regions closest to Kentucky most applicable to our operations.

University of Missouri Variety Testing Program

University of Tennessee Agronomic Variety Trials

Purdue Crop Performance Program

Soybean Variety Test Results in Illinois

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Webcasts for soybean Production

The United Soybean Board website is now offering free webcasts highlighting several aspects of soybean production in the United States.

These webcasts are very informative. Currently available for view/listen are:

How to Maximize Soybean Yield - Palle Pedersen, Iowa State University

Principles of Nematode Management - Dr. John Mueller, Clemson University

Check them out when you get a chance!

Friday, January 29, 2010


To get the full report as it stands currently, either email me at jmsarv2@uky.edu, or follow these steps...

1. Click on this link -----> SoyMVP Report

2. Click on 'Free User'

3. After the clock expires, click 'download'

The file is in .pdf format. Again, if you would like the report via email, simply email me at jmsarv2@uky.edu and let me know.

The full report will replace this one as soon as the necessary data is acquired.

It's been a while...(somewhat) preliminary report

I've spent the last couple of months rounding up and analyzing data and trying to get our fields set up for next year.

It looks like all of our producers from this year will return for next year, plus we are going to add several more. Not only that, but we are going to work with a handful of producers to do some specific side-by-side comparisons and replicated trials on issues that they feel are important to soybean production in their fields.

While I'm still trying to acquire the data on two comparisons (4 fields in total), I'll attach a report as it stands now.