Bill Richards is keenly disappointed with the current acceptance of conservation, and no-till in particular. “This is the mystery of my life: I think we’ve lost some of our conservation ethic. No-till involves a change in culture. Maybe that’s the problem," he says.
Tommy Carter knows soybeans like Steve Jobs knew computer design. The more he knows, however, the more Carter marvels at the soybean’s complexity. It makes him wonder how all that mysterious and even undiscovered genetic potential can be put to work in fields across the world.
Paul Evans stands in a lush corn field on the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe Farm and Ranch and marvels at the changes on this ground over the past 20 years. A couple of decades ago, when he came to the 597,000-acre reservation in the southwest Colorado desert near the New Mexico border, this land near the toe of Sleeping Ute Mountain produced nothing. Zip. Nada.
The quirks of a year like this one – or just about any year, in fact – point out the need for well funded and focused ag research, Jason Bean says. He just finished a term as the United Soybean Board’s (USB) production committee chair, after serving nine years on the committee and 12 years on the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council.
Early soybeans can jump-start success in the Midsouth, where many growers now head to the field as soon as soils are warm enough to plant. They’re planting more Group IV varieties than ever, often in April. That lets them harvest early enough to avoid costly late-season stresses from diseases and pests.
Talk soybean population with Southerners and no consensus emerges. Some, like North Carolina State University Extension Specialist Jim Dunphy, say planting fewer soybeans per acre can mean greater profits.