May 13, 2021

A Year in the Life of a Farmer: Kindreds plant soybeans during April windows

Follow the Kindred family throughout the entire year. Each month, look for updates about the family members and the decisions they make on their farm.

ATLANTA, Ill. — The Kindreds were making one last push to plant soybeans the day before snow was forecast in central Illinois.

“We have about 38 acres on this farm. We did 30 acres this morning and with the forecast of lows in the 20s for a couple of mornings here, we’re going to shut down after this field and take the planter home. That’s the next place we’ll plant anyway,” said Ron Kindred on April 19.

Ron’s son, Jay, was handling planting duties while Ron was on standby with the seed tender.

The Kindreds have had some success with earlier planted soybeans and are planting soybeans ahead of corn this year.

“Last year we planted about 400 acres of soybeans between April 20 and April 22 and then we got rained out and didn’t get back into the field until May 15 and we decided to switch over to corn then. Those were the best soybeans we had by far last year. That’s why we’re kind of pushing the envelope a little bit,” Ron said.

They planted about 137 acres of soybeans on April 7 this year.

“Those are our early, early beans, and then we’ve been going here for the last five or six days. We have about 800 acres of soybeans in the ground,” Ron said.

“All the soybeans we get are fully treated with fungicide, insecticide, ILeVO and everything Beck’s offers. We feel comfortable that they’re going to be protected pretty well even if they lay there for a couple of weeks before they come up.”

They had not planted any corn as of April 19.

“Just about all of the corn ground is sprayed and ready to be planted. We have about 130 acres of corn ground that need to be sprayed yet before planting. Once it gets fit we can get the corn in the ground pretty fast,” Ron said.

“We’re going to be just a hair heavier on corn acres this year, which is just part of our rotation. Last year we were just a hair heavier on soybeans. It’s our normal 50-50 rotation.”

New Units

The Kindreds are using the same Kinze planter that was featured when Ron was first introduced as the focus of the “A Year in the Life of a Farmer” series back in January.

At that time, Ron and Jay were installing new Precision Planting vSet and vDrive units on their 15-inch 16/31 Kinze. They also upgraded the monitor to a Precision Planting Gen 3 20/20.

“The new units are working really well. We were kind of itching to start to see how it was going to work, and we’ve been really pleased. We didn’t really have any hiccups with it,” Ron said.

“Getting used to the new 20/20 has more of a problem for us than anything else. We’ve got a tech guy we can call, and he can usually get us through it pretty quick. It’s nice to have all of that mechanical drive stuff on there.”

Clean Fields

The 38-acre field where the Kindreds were planting soybeans was in corn the previous year and was weed-free on planting day.

“In this field we did a fall herbicide program and applied burndown this spring with a residual. We’ve had some issues on this farm before with a lot of winter annuals and so we decided to go with the fall herbicide program and follow up with the residual in the spring and it looks really good,” Ron said.

“It makes a big difference on this no-till if you start clean. I’m convinced of that. It’s hard to spend that $17, $18 an acre sometimes for a fall program, but in the end it’s probably money well spent. Sometimes the fall doesn’t allow you to get it on. That’s the issue sometimes.”

Tom Doran

Field Editor