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 or 859-317-3142 if you need more information regarding this program.