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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Corn Soybean Classic

They University of Illinois Agronomy and specialists used to do a county by county circuit to impart their wisdom during the winter.  Some years ago, county attendance was dropping off and University Resources became short, so they went to regional meetings.  Yesterday I attended the southern Illinois meeting in Mt. Vernon. Some of the links below are to blogs that I have previously written on the topic. 

The day started with a discussion of  farm drainage. Richard Cooke discussed Drainage Water Management and bio-filters.  The Illinois Drainage Guide  on line had a lot of information needed to make decisions about drainage including an economic analysis calculator.  Click on Economics on the left and you should see a tab below that for the calculator.  You may need to install some Visual Basic information to run it. 

Gary Schnitkey discussed the relationship between corn and soybean prices and how that should affect decisions about what to grow.  He said that prices currently lead us to grow more corn.  I am not sure I would make that decision because of disease pressure and general issues related to yield reductions with corn on corn.

Aaron Hager discussed Palmer Amaranth.  Look for a whole posting on that topic.

Carl Bradley discussed diseases.  He spent a lot of time on  Goss's Wilt which reared its ugly head this year.  In general discussions about diseases would lead you to clean tillage and crop rotations.  Right now the demand for corn leads you away from rotations.  I would hate to see us return to clean fall tillage that puts soil in the air and fills our road ditches.  There has to be a better way.  Goss's Wilt is bacterial, so if you had Goss's Wilt in a field that would be a place to plant soybeans to break they cycle.

Mike Gray made a presentation on insect surveys completed during the growing season.  He said Insect pressures seemed to be lower this year, but some new concerns have arisen,  Everyone is concerned about the Bt resistance that has emerged.  He suggested hybrids with more different resistance genes.  Lots of people are pointing out the need for refuges.  He is also concerned about three "new"  insects.  Two of which I have written about.  Red Banded Stinkbugs and Brown Marmorated Stinkbugs ave been discussed in previous blogs.  Red Shouldered Stinkbugs are also a concern.  U of I would like to know if you find any of these.  They have all been found in Illinois.

Fabian Fernandez discussed soil sampling and fertility.  I have blogged on those topics a lot so I will not provide specific links.  He even offered some explanation of zone sampling.  A lot of what he showed us would lead you away from grid sampling, but he did not come right out and say that. 

Emerson Nafziger discussed the yield lag in corn on corn. He said he thought that water and compaction were both culprits.  I pointed out my evidence to that effect on July 18 .  Disease pressure may also have been a factor. 

They program seemed more of a look back than a look forward.  I know that in farming we base our decisions on past experience.  In addition, it is difficult to determine what will be the hot issues of 2012.  Current information is important.

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