May 21, 2024

Harvesting high oleic soybean varieties

From the Fields

There are several features of the John Deere 780 combine that Chris Gould really likes, including the PowerCast, which has an improved residue spread.

MAPLE PARK, Ill. — Chris Gould started harvest combining his Plenish beans and is pleased with the results for the first time he has grown the high oleic soybean variety.

“We finished our Plenish beans about three hours ago and that was our first 450 acres,” said Gould, who grows corn, soybeans and wheat with his wife, Dana.

“They were planted first and they were the shortest season, so I’m not surprised they were ready to go first,” he said. “They were mid-70s (bushels per acre), and knowing what I saw from mid-May to June 24, I’m very happy with that yield.”

Gould has two combines running to harvest soybeans.

“We traded a John Deere 680 for this 780 and we thought we got it just barely in the nick of time, but it turns out we had two weeks to work on it because the beans didn’t want to get ready,” Gould said.

“We did some personalization on the combine by adding tool boxes, cross auger clutches and YieldSense,” he said. “This combine is a big improvement from what we had for technology and creature comforts.”

The PowerCast is one of the features that Gould really likes.

“Look at the residue spread compared to the other combine,” he said. “I tell the combine the first time which way the wind is from and it automatically flips at the end to account for the wind.”

This is even more important for no-till fields.

“The residue can screw up your nitrogen program for the young corn plants,” Gould said.

Chris Gould tightens the straps on the head mover in preparation to travel to the next soybean field on his farm in Maple Park, Illinois. He started harvest this year on Sept. 30, about a week behind most years.

For the first field of commodity beans, yields were below expectations.

“This field two years ago did 80 bushels, but we’re not going to make that this year,” the Maple Park farmer said. “I think they had some white mold, and where you see the patches of black plants, those beans were dead before they filled the pods.”

The Actual Production History for this field is about 75 bushels, Gould said.

“But part of that is when we had hogs this field was in a four-year rotation of corn, corn, beans and wheat, so it was out of beans for four years,” he said. “Now it is a corn-bean rotation, so the pressure of white mold and other stuff starts building.”

Moisture of the beans was at 13%.

“I rather they be too wet than too dry because we can dry them in the bin,” the farmer said. “Thirteen percent is perfect, but probably on a day like this they’ll be at 11% by the end of the day.”

Gould has two Brent grain carts with tracks.

“The scale indicator is very handy, especially for two combines, because I can’t keep track of what he’s putting in,” he said. “If I save one overweight ticket, that feature is paid for.”

Tracks on the grain carts are another feature that is important to Gould.

“I love the tracks on the carts — I think I would like tracks on everything,” he said. “When we went to a 32-row planter and 16-row corn head, that corn head is really heavy, although the footprint on this combine with singles is much bigger than the duals on the other combine.”

Last year, Chris Gould bought an All-Wheel Steer head mover. “It is awesome because it trails perfectly which makes it possible to pull behind the combine,” he says.

Although Gould typically doesn’t have responsibilities as the District 1 director for the Illinois Corn Growers Association during the harvest season, he took some time on Oct. 9 to go to the CHS grain elevator near Maple Park during a special event organized by Illinois Farm Families, which represents all of the commodities across the state.

Illinois Farm Families and Casey’s partnered to celebrate National Pizza Month with a pizza giveaway at five grain elevators in Illinois.

“We handed out 96 pizzas for the ‘We are the 96%’ campaign,” Gould said.

The campaign salutes farm families who own and operate 96% of all farms in Illinois.

The next event for IL Corn will be the group’s annual meeting during the week of Thanksgiving.

“That is usually not a problem with harvest, but this year I’m not so sure,” the director said. “But with reasonable weather we’ll be done.”

Gould uses different fall tillage methods based on the crop rotation and fertilizer needs of the field.

“If it’s beans going to corn or corn going to beans, we hit it with a high-speed disk to get some of the residue buried,” he said. “If it’s bean ground that needs fertilizer, we’ll strip-till it and the corn-on-corn fields get disk chiseled.”

However, all of those decisions can be trumped if Gould decides to no-till the field.

“I’m doing a lot more no-till next year because when we were planting this spring there is a sensor that goes in the seed trench that detects soil temperature among other things,” Gould said.

“There were several cases where the tilled ground was colder than the untilled ground and that surprised me,” he said. “Half the reason we’re doing tillage is to get the ground dried up and warmed up faster, but if it is warmer under the residue blanket then we should leave the blanket on.”

For the last few years, Gould has tried to hit fields with the high-speed disk in the fall and then do nothing in the spring for tillage.

“But it’s not smooth enough to plant, although it’s an ideal seedbed because the soil is mellow and moist,” Gould said.

“The field we just finished looks perfect — I could plant it now,” he said. “So, maybe I won’t do anything in the spring, but we’ll have to see.”

Martha Blum

Martha Blum

Field Editor