Soybeans On Soybeans

May Face Disease Problems Soybeans planted following soybeans may not yield well, warns a University of Minnesota extension integrated pest management specialist.

"It's not certain that second-year soybeans will yield poorly," says Bruce Potter. "However, the problems of white mold, brown stem rot and soybean cyst nematode (SCN) are well-documented to be greater in continuous soybeans. White mold and SCN persist in the soil.

Brown stem rot overwinters and can live on soybean residue."

Organisms that cause bacterial blight, bacterial pustule, anthracnose, stem canker, pod and stem blight and brown spot also survive the winter on bean residue.

"The first year of soybeans allows reproduction and buildup of disease organisms and SCN populations," says Potter. "The second year, soybeans are planted into the elevated disease or SCN levels. Without a non-host year, reduction of plant parasitic organisms from exposure, natural enemies and old age is minimized."

If you have no choice but to plant soybeans a second year, choose varieties with resistance to the most likely problems, he advises. If you use SCN-resistant varieties both years, rotate the source of resistance. And try to use different weed control the second year, rotating chemical families and modes of action.

"Moldboard plowing may help control some, but not all, of the organisms that survive on soybean residue," says Potter. "Unfortunately, heavy tillage of soybean residue has other negative impacts."

Monsanto, Upjohn To Merge

Monsanto Co. and Pharmacia & Upjohn have entered into an agreement to create a new company.

The combined company, not yet named, will have estimated 1999 sales of $17 billion with a market capitalization of more than $50 billion. It will be a strong competitor in the global pharmaceutical industry and also will be a world leader in agricultural seeds, herbicides and biotechnology traits.

It's expected that up to 19.9% of the new firm's ag business will be offered in an initial public offering. That business will become a separate legal entity, with a stand-alone board of directors and its own publicly traded stock.

Current CEO of Pharmacia & Upjohn, Fred Hassan, will be president and CEO of the new company.

Its corporate headquarters will be in Peapack, NJ, along with the pharmaceutical business. The ag business will be headquartered in St. Louis, MO.

"We are creating a high-growth pharmaceutical company with a global leadership in sales and marketing, a superior R & D platform and top-tier leadership prospects, including several products with blockbuster potential," says Hassan.

"At the same time we are establishing a structure that gives our agricultural operations the scope and autonomy to be a leading independent entity in the agricultural field with high growth opportunity supported by a strong capital structure and the potential for direct shareholder investment."