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Illinois soybeans show potential, despite challenges

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Big yields ahead for Hoosier soybean growers

MONMOUTH, Ill. — To anyone who may be thinking of writing off the 2019 Illinois soybean crop, Lance Tarochione has a message.

“These beans still have a lot of potential in them,” said the DEKALB Asgrow technical agronomist.

He farms in western Illinois and his territory covers western Illinois.

The soybean crop was planted in Illinois across a span of months, not weeks — so that means that the crucial times for that crop will be counted in months, not weeks.

“Typically, August is the month that we say makes or breaks soybeans. July is very important for April-planted beans. August and September are going to be very important for the May- and June-planted beans. Instead of one month that’s important for soybeans, this year it’s going to be three months that are important for soybeans,” Tarochione said.

When it comes to diseases and pests, Tarochione said a timely fungicide and insecticide application still could make sense.

“If you’re optimistic and you are still trying to get more yield than what your insurance guarantee has you covered for, I think an R3 timing fungicide/insecticide application, which is pretty standard practice in a normal year,” he said.

One system that has shown its value this year is the Asgrow Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System.

“As far as the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System, despite having to deal with some heavy weed pressure this spring, we were able to clean up many fields that we might not have been able to with other systems. Not only that, we were able to keep them clean with the added benefit of soil activity from XtendiMax herbicide with VaporGrip Technology,” said Jim Donnelly, DEKALB Asgrow technical agronomist in northern Illinois.

Donnelly’s territory covers from Interstate 80 north to the Illinois-Wisconsin border.

Still Standing

Tarochione said that while soybeans may look short, due to the compacted planting season, that doesn’t necessarily mean a lower yield.

“Soybeans, in general, still are shorter than normal because of the late planting and the weather, but there’s really no reason to think just because they’re short, they won’t yield well. There’s really not a good correlation between height and yield,” he said.

When it comes to an outlook for harvest, both Illinois agronomists said they expect a lengthy soybean harvest.

“The crop does gain, so our planting dates were stretched out over about 60 days, from the earliest to the latest was roughly 60 days in both crops, a little more spread out in soybeans than in corn. That 60-day spread will equate to about a 30- or 40-day spread at harvest time,” Tarochione said.

Donnelly agreed.

“We can probably expect soybean maturity to last a little longer or be a little later in the growing season than we would expect or want. Growers should prepare for a spread out soybean harvest, especially on those really late-planted beans,” Donnelly said.

But until then, moisture will be the key.

“Early in the year we were begging for it to quit being wetter than normal, but at this stage in the game, we need for it to be wetter than normal. That’s what we need to make these June-planted beans 60-plus-bushel beans instead of 40-plus-bushel beans,” Tarochione said.

This column was contributed by Illinois AgriNews for Asgrow.

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