100 bushels and beyond -
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  • 1. RICHARD COOPER HOLDS semidwarf varieties he devel- oped and used to break the 100- bu. barrier in his plots at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. P oo D re S ih h t : ar l mt rate: 125 lb. of nitrogen, 200 lb. of phosphate and 250 lb. of potash. Flannerys 100-bu. yields came with two dif- ferent seeding rates: 150,000 (103.6 bu.) and 225,000 (108.6 and 102.7). During the three years of his study, maxi- mum yields came from both the high and low rates. "But it appears that we are getting little addi- tional yield by seeding at the higher level," he says. There were no signifi- cant lodging problems at either seeding rate, says Flannery. He planted in 7" rows at both rates. Flannery eliminated moisture stress with drip irrigation. He thinks the higher nitrogen rate, early planting (May 12—10 1 0 0 b u s h e l s days earlier than 1981), a fungicide application and a good growing season all a n d b e y o n d may have helped boost 1982 yields. In Ohio, Cooper ap- P resent soybean varieties, and some others that will soon be released, hold the poten- tial for 100-bu. soybean yields, accordingto studies conducted last summer by agronomistsRoy Flannery and Richard Cooper. plied 180 lb. of P 2 0 5 , 360 lb. of K 2 0 and 200 lb. of nitrogen before planting his soybeans. After har- vest, the Pi test was 205 lb. per acre and the K test was 483. The pH was 6.4. Cooper planted both 7" and 30" rows. He Working in high-yield environments, with limit- seeded the indeterminate varieties and lines ating factors removed as much as possible, the two 150,000 seeds per acre (8 per ft.) in 30" rows andmen became the first scientists to break the 100- 225,000 seeds per acre (3 per ft.) in 7" rows. Withbu. soybean yield barrier. Flannery, of Rutgers Uni- the determinate semidwarfs, he planted 225,000versity, produced yields of 108.6, 103.6 and 102.7 seeds per acre (12 per ft.) in 30" rows andbu. per acre. Cooper harvested 102.2, 101.6 and 300,000 seeds per acre (4 per ft.) in 7" rows.100.3 bu. per acre at the Ohio Agricultural Re- "Lodging of the indeterminate varieties was se-search and Development Center. vere at both row widths and seeding rates," he Flannery achieved his 100-bu. yields with As- says. "The semidwarfs stood well in all trials."grow A3127. Coopers came with three experi- Both Flannery and Cooper recorded some re-mental semidwarf lines (two of which may be re- markable yields that fell just short of the 100-bu.leased as varieties within a few years). Both men mark. Flannery got 99.8, 96.5 and 93.0 bu. perharvested replicated plots of 1/1,000 acre. acre from Hobbit, a determinate semidwarf. The scientists efforts provide some insight on In Coopers trials, out of 54 established varietieswhat may be required to push yields to 100 bu. or lines, 27 yielded more than 90 bu. per acre inper acre. 7" rows and 45 topped 80. In 30" rows, nine va- They had built fertility in preparation for their rieties or lines yielded more than 70 bu. and 30high-yield studies. Soil test levels (measured by the topped 65.double acid extractant method) for Flannerys plot Both agree that 100-bu. farm yields will requirestood at more than 300 lb. per acre for phospho- ideal conditions—either irrigation or rain at therus and 300 to 350 lb. fpr potassium. proper times plus ideal temperatures. "But," Flan- The Rutgers agronomist compared two fertilizer nery adds, "in this vast country, there are areastreatments, with the 100-bu. yields at the highest every year where the weather is almost perfect." < S-15
  • 2. pus? W h a t t o p g r o w e r s s a y a b o u t h i g h y i e l d s P o : H ri Bre h t ar a s o s n • How do you consis- • South Carolina Coastal Plain grower Roy Phil- tently produce better than lips grows high-yield soybeans with tight manage- 40 bu. of soybeans per ment in a conventional system. "We plant only acre without irrigation? full-season soybeans. They yield a good 15 bu. Ask Christian County, more than doublecrop beans in our area, and I Ky. grower Harry Young avoid the mess of harvesting wheat and planting and son, John, and you beans at the same time," he says. "We think get an answer of no- theres more profit in full-season beans alone." tillage and crop rotation. Phillips uses a mixed fertilizer, even though not Only once since 1979 always called for in his soil tests, and inoculates ev- have their no-till beans ery bean. "We use something like 300 lb. of a yielded less than 40 bu. 0-10-30 or a 5-10-30 each year. I think there is a per acre, and that was a payoff in having that P and K, and perhaps a little drought year. shot of N to get the crop off to a good start. "New herbicides, fungi- "We have a man at planting with nothing to do cides, varieties, and har- but inoculate the beans and load the hoppers. Id vesting machinery rank prefer to be safe." right at the top for us as Although a preplant herbicide such as Basalin high-yield getters," says or Treflan is a must, Phillips has had success in HARRY YOUNG Harry. The Youngs have cleaning up rented land and new ground, full of Christian County. Kentucky a full rotation going: 650 coffeeweed, pigweed and morning-glory with a acres of corn, all followed with small grains. Then preemergence treatment of Lasso and Sencor. 650 acres of soybeans are double cropped behind "And if necessary, to get rid of weed competi- the small grain. No-tillage goes for all crops except tion later we have found an over-the-top applica- for a light working before planting small grains. tion of Blazer and dinitro or a new material, Tack- Last year the Young Farm was in the midst of a le, used under an experimental use permit, with dry tier of counties. John says they were able to dinitro to be very effective. But I underscore using harvest an average yield of 48 bu. of beans per either combination when the plants and ground acre, primarily because of the rotation and the are dry so as not to damage the soybeans." moisture conserved by no-till. "In fact, Dad and I The Race 3 soybean cyst nematode is gaining are very disappointed when we dont combine at ground in South Carolina. least an average of 40 bu. per acre from the entire Phillips injects Soil- Po H ri Bre ht ar a s o s n 650 acres." brom 90 at a 15" level Look over the crops on the 2,000-acre Young from the subsoiler shanks farm and you see the results of years of good on his ripper-planter. In weed control. Behind their 18-row no-till planter addition to the nemati- (two ACs hooked in tandem) they spray a tank cide he uses a fungicide. mix of Lexone and Dual for the residual and Para- This year on his 800 quat or Roundup for the knockdown work. Once acres hell use 4 different in a while they get a breakout of grasses and bean varieties: Centenni- weeds in the low lands. They report good soybean al, Coker 317 and 488, yields using the tried and proven over-the-top her- and Wright to stagger ma- bicides Basagran and Blazer, and the newcomers turity dates. Poast and Fusilade. He sees no need for "We like having good nematicides in the arsen- cultivation for weed con- al to combat the foliar and pod diseases especially trol, but figures the prac- during the years of high humidity and rainfall. An- tice "breaks up" the soil other contributor to our high yields has been the after hard packing rains, Essex variety, a real workhorse over the years on allowing the roots to this farm," says Harry. "breathe" for better bean In concluding, the Youngs say they would men- growth. They use two tion keeping the soil fertility levels high for top soy- combines to harvest fast, ROY PHILLIPS bean yields. yet efficiently. Clarendon County, South Caroli S-16
  • 3. THERE MAY BE N O "ONE" W A Y T O GROW B E A N S , B U T T H E R E IS A BEST WAY-PRECISELY. • "Your total program makes the yield," says • Switching to narrow-row soybeans helped Willis Fiscus who farms with sons Mike and Mark Frosty Hofmann make a big jump in yields—from in Marshall County, Iowa. the 36-bu. range in 1976 to 44 bu. per acre in They want a good seedbed (at least in the row) 1977. In 1981, he average 45 bu. per acre, com- that will allow even, firm placement of seed. Of pared to a county average of 36. Last year, he av- course you need equipment that will do that job. eraged 47 bushels. Soybean production is more Then—good, "no-breakthrough" weed control. than a job to him, Hofmann admits. "You get And careful harvest that minimizes losses. yourself wound up in it, and it gets to be kind of an The Fiscuses have pushed their yields into the obsession at times," he grins. "I find soybeans to 50-bushel area with this season- be more of a challenge than corn." long approach —when weather Key steps in production? "I dont know what cooperates . . . and sometimes could be more important with close-row soybeans when it doesnt. Willis shakes than weed control. Yield reduction from heavy his head over 1982: foxtail or broadleaf infestations is unbelievable, "We had the longest plant- and harvesting weedy beans is a bear. With close ing season in my experience. rows, chemicals are the only method you have." We planted beans through Knowing what weeds June 22. But we had our best are present is essential for P o : J C A n Sn ht o l S o e check yield so far from a field control, says Hofmann. ___^3 _ _ __i planted June 5. Acreage we cut He has several fields from that for a yield contest scouted by professionals made 58 bu. per acre." and he walks some him- They had drilled that field in self. "Last year I found 1 **L~ 10" rows. They usually drill some common ragweedILIS FISCUS fields with lower weed pres- and some nightshade,"shall County, Iowa sure; plant others in 30" rows, he says. "So we sprayed "Drilling really paid off on our later-planted Blazer along with Basa- beans," Willis says. "We had drilled beans June 22 gran and it worked well. L i l that produced 40 bu. per acre, while 30" beans Nightshade can become a planted the same date yielded 36 bu. None of problem rapidly if you let it go." K <•*"». them reached knee-high. We just had more plants in the drilled areas." Matching herbicides to I1- . • --i- 5*. The Fiscuses use a 14 Crust Buster to drill the weed species is also beans—now have three years experience with it. essential, says Hofmann. WILLIAM "FROSTY"HOFMANN They think the close-spaced beans and quick can- "The information is right Clinton County, Indiana opy help reduce erosion. Still, they hesitate to drill on the label of every herbicide," he notes. everything because of concern about weeds. Hofmann thinks hes found a way to eliminate Drilling makes good weed control essential. The the difference in herbicide performance caused by Fiscuses follow the same program for drilled and varying organic matter content within a field. Hell row beans. They put down Treflan or Lasso for eliminate his usual DNA herbicide on some acre- grass, and follow up postemergence with Basa- age—perhaps almost half—and go entirely with gran for broadleaves. They always incorporate or postemergence products. If its too wet for ground surface-blend the grass killers. "We dont risk de- equipment, he may go aerial. layed action in case we get a dry spell." He has begun analyzing varieties more closely. That postemergence Basagran treatment—on "There seems to be more difference now than the drilled beans, too? Yes. Willis has found that when I started growing soybeans," he says. He he can drive over the young beans without caus- studies university yield trials first, then other ing lasting damage. The wheel tracks persist for a sources. time, but plants recover, he says. They walk fields "Except for universities, its hard to find unbias- when volunteer corn is troublesome. ed yield data," says Hofmann. But he has discov- They help broadleaved weed control in beans ered one other source: Chemical company trials. by using Banvel-2,4-D in corn. Willis and his sons "Theyre testing herbicides, so they have nothing grow 500-plus acres of corn, 400 of soybeans. to gain by promoting a variety," he says. <3 S-17