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Information for Midsouth Soybean Producers

Following are links to articles that have information on myriad topics that Midsouth soybean producers need to know about.

Click here for USDA-NRCS Technical Guides that provide information about conservation of resources that are used in agriculture. These guides are localized for individual states so that they are geographically-specific [click here to access each state’s technical guide].

An article titled “Renewable biodiesel and soybean prices: What to expect” by Tom J. Bechman presents information provided by Dr. Scott Irwin at the Univ. of Illinois. Dr. Irwin states that the renewable biodiesel market is based on multiple government policies rather than true consumer demand, thus obscuring the fact that there is no real demand for renewable biodiesel because it is considerably more costly to produce than regular diesel fuel. Since the current ceiling for production is based on US-EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard, there would need to be changes in government policies or another source of demand to increase the total demand for the product. So soybean farmers may not see the projected increase in soybean prices that were initially touted when this product was first discussed. Click here for the article on this website that provides information about creating renewable diesel from soybeans.

An article titled “Trials evaluate after-market closing wheels for corn” provides results from research conducted by Dr. Dan Quinn of Purdue Univ. Research trials were conducted in 2022 and 2023 at two Indiana locations to test the potential benefits of using two after-market closing wheels vs. standard rubber closing wheels when corn was planted no-till following no cover crop or a cereal rye cover crop. Across the site-years of the study, results indicated both better corn emergence and yield when using the two after-market closing wheels vs. standard rubber closing wheels when corn was planted following the cereal rye cover crop. These results show the importance of 1) furrow closing when planting into a high-residue cover crop such as cereal rye, and 2) testing after-market planter equipment in different environments, especially when cover crops precede the summer cash crop.

In an article titled “Deep tillage: To turn or not to turn?”, Dr. Eric Prostko of the Univ. of Georgia provides the following points.

•    The use of herbicides as a sole measure to control weeds is not sustainable over the long term.

•    Deep tillage–more specifically deep inversion tillage–can be used to bury seeds of problematic weeds to aid in their control since many weed species do not have the energy to effect emergence when they are buried below a certain soil depth. Generally, larger weed seeds should be buried deeper than smaller weed seeds.

•    A table in the article lists the burial depths of seeds of several weed species at which emergence is ≤10%.

•    Dr. Prostko emphasizes that deep tillage once every 3-4 years can be an additional tool for managing problematic weed populations in fields where they occur.

Click here to access a White Paper on this website that provides information about using tillage in soybean production systems.

John Hart, Assoc. Editor of Southeast Farm Press, authored an article titled “Know your poultry litter before you apply” that provides the following information.

•    The first thing to do before applying poultry litter as a fertilizer to any crop is to obtain an analysis of the nutrient content of the litter to be used. According to Dr. Stephanie Kulesza of North Carolina State Univ., this will determine what a grower can expect to achieve nutrient-wise from the applied litter material.

•    According to Dr. Kulesza, there is significant variability in litter nutrient content based on the kind of litter–i.e. whole-house or caked–that is used.

•    Rate and timing of application are critical for realizing the most benefit from using poultry litter as a fertilizer.

•    It is important to follow regulatory requirements when applying poultry litter as a fertilizer source for a crop so that discharge to waterways does not occur. This means the litter should be applied at allowed agronomic rates.

Click here to access a White Paper that provides information about using poultry as a fertilizer in Misouth soybean production systems.

Composed by Larry G. Heatherly, Feb. 2024,