This roundup of 5 agriculture stories you should read offers steps to decide if soybeans should be replanted, as well as some info on soybean injury from soil-applied herbicides, and corn-soybean price ratios. Also, see how one farmer makes aerial scouting affordable, and check out some jazz-loving cows.
1. Soil-applied herbicides can injure soybeans. Experts at the University of Illinois say that an integrated weed management program is the best solution to combating herbicide resistance, which includes using soil residual herbicides. However, the residuals could offer injury to soybeans when not used at proper rates.
“In many instances of soybean injury, the herbicide was applied after soybean fields were planted and a precipitation event occurred within a few days of soybean emergence. Cool air and soil temperatures during the same interval can further increase injury potential by slowing the rate of herbicide metabolism. A crusted soil surface can slow soybean emergence, increasing the time the hypocotyl and cotyledons remain in the zone of high herbicide concentration. Once the herbicide is moved deeper into the soil profile, the potential to cause additional injury is greatly reduced,” says Aaron Hager, University of Illinois weed scientist.
2. Soybean replant decisions. If farmers were able to plant soybeans early, Iowa State University recommends scouting those fields for stand quality using stand counts and assessments, as well as assessing yield potential and pesticide cost.
After gathering information about the injured crop and potentially replanting soybean, make your replant decision based on the best economic outcome of the two choices. Simply put, will the costs and yield potential of the existing stand have greater revenue than replanting?
3. Corn-soybean price ratios. As corn and soybean prices have fallen over the past year, the profitability of growing soybeans has increase. The University of Illinois says that leads to speculation of a decrease in corn acres.
However, high soybean-to-corn prices in the spring do not necessarily signal high soybean-to-corn price ratios at harvest. Therefore, relative returns between corn and soybeans may change.
4. Affordable aerial scouting technology. Crop consultant and farmer Marc Burggraff found an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for $1,500 that can fly GPS patterns with his son’s GoPro camera. It is the DJI Phantom 2 Vision, with GPS and iPad control.
“We’ll experiment it with it to detect crop stressors like compaction, disease, and possibly insect damage just on our own fields,” he says.
5. Who doesn’t enjoy taking a little time to listen to some music? A herd of cattle in France sure seems to! We came across a video on YouTube of an American jazz band playing for come cattle along side a road in France, and the herd lined up to listen. Amusing and entertaining!