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TOUR DThe six secrets

TOUR DThe six secrets of soybean successA common perception among Illinois soybean growers isthat soybean yields have reached a plateau, particularly ifyield growth is compared with corn. Increased productivity ofsoybean is needed to meet domestic and global demandsas well as to maintain the competitiveness of soybean as arotational crop with corn. Some sources have suggestedthat average soybean yields will need to double in the next20 to 25 years to meet the needs of a growing world population,yet at the current rate of gain of approximately 0.39bu/acre/year, nearly 85 years will pass before the current averageIllinois yield of 47 bu/acre reaches 80. While soybeangenetics have improved over time, one possible explanationfor slow growth of yields may be related to managementpractices. We believe that understanding the main effectsand interactions of six categorical yield factors may help usimprove management for increased soybean yield. Thesefactors are weather, fertility, variety, foliar crop protection(fungicides and insecticides), seed treatments, and rowspacing—the so-called “Six Secrets of Soybean Success.”With the support of the Illinois Soybean Association andindustry partners, we evaluated the Six Secrets concept atfour locations (two trials each) across Illinois in 2012. A“standard” management practice (a variety of typical maturitiesfor the region with either untreated seed or a basic seedtreatment) was compared to a “high tech” management practicein which a full-season variety for the region was grownwith additional N, P, S, and Zn fertility (MicroEssentials SZ),foliar protection from insects and fungal pathogens, and anadvanced seed treatment package consisting of a fungicide,insecticide, and nematicide. All treatments were compared in20-inch and 30-inch rows (Figure 42). Significant yield responsesto the high tech package were detected in six ofeight trials. Inappropriate variety placement resulted in no responseto intensive management in two trials, highlighting theimportance of selecting high-yielding germplasm as a componentof intensive soybean management.Averaged across six trials, the high tech package increasedyield by 9.9 bu/acre (P ≤ 0.05). Narrow rowspacing increased yield at Champaign, DeKalb, andJason W. HaegeleDepartment of Crop Sciencespostdoctoral research associate,haegele1@illinois.edu,217-552-5460Fred E. BelowDepartment of Crop Sciencesprofessor of plant physiology,fbelow@illinois.edu,217-333-9745Soybean Yield SecretD Yield(bu acre –1 )Fertility (extra N, P, S, Zn) 4.3Variety (fullest maturity for region) 3.2Foliar protection (fungicide and insecticide) 3.6Seed treatment (fungicide, insecticide, nematicide) 2.6Row spacing (20-inch rows) 2.1Figure 43. Summarized yield responses from individual practices that increasedsoybean yields in 2012. Responses are averaged across standardand high tech management systems from the six responsive trials in2012.Rushville (3.0, 6.5, and 1.6 bu/acre, respectively). At themanagement-responsive sites, banded fertility (N, P, S,and Zn) and full foliar protection (fungicide + insecticide)had the greatest individual effects on yield, with respectivecontributions of 4.3 and 3.6 bu/acre when averagedacross the traditional and high tech systems (Figure 43).Switching from a variety of “normal” maturity to a fullerseason variety had a 3.2 bu/acre effect on yield, and useof a seed treatment including a fungicide, insecticide, andnematicide contributed an additional 2.6 bu/acre. The resultsof the 2012 study highlight the importance ofchoosing a high-yielding, locally adapted soybean varietyand managing it with improved fertility and a full suite ofcrop protection products.Figure 42. Contrast between 30-inch rows (left) and 20-inch rows (right) at Champaign, Illinois, in 2012. The same treatment (high tech management system)is shown in both images, taken approximately 65 days after planting. Photos courtesy of Jason Haegele.38 AGRONOMY DAY 2013

TentDisplaysAgricultural Safety and Health and AgrAbility UnlimitedProviding farmers practical techniques to reduce risks and hazards on the farmBob Aherin, Department ofAgricultural Engineeringextension safety specialist,raherin@illinois.edu,217-333-9417Chip Petrea, Department ofAgricultural Engineeringprincipal research specialist,ag safety and health,repetrea@illinois.edu, 217-333-5035University of Illinois Extensionsafety specialists offer the mostrecent data and circumstancesinvolved in Illinois farm-related fatalitiesand injuries. Importantpractical techniques are providedto help farmers reduce the hazardson their farms and the risksthat they, their families, and theirfarm visitors encounter from dailywork situations in productionagriculture. Through AgrAbilityUnlimited, farmers and their familiesand agricultural workers willcontinue to enjoy their way of life.The program seeks ways to overcomedisabilities through variousactivities, including a toll-free informationand referral hotline, networkingwith local agriculturaland rehabilitation professionals,coordinating community resources,and providing informationon modifying equipment.Center for Advanced BioEnergy Research (CABER)One-stop shop for Illinois bioenergy informationHans BlaschekNatalie BoseckerHans Blaschek, directorGreg Knott, associate directorVijay Singh, associate directorfor engineeringNatalie Bosecker, coordinatorfor communications andexternal relationsbioenergy@illinois.edu,217-244-9270,bioenergy.illinois.eduThe Center for AdvancedBioEnergy Research (CABER)of the College of ACES providesa framework for bioenergy-relatedresearch and scholarship.CABER helps facilitate crossdisciplinaryresearch, education,and outreach programs thatpromote the use of biorenewableresources, and it providesscience-based information toconsumers and to externalstakeholders in the bioenergyindustry. The CABER bioenergyresearch blog provides a dailyreview of news and researchthroughout the world atbioenergyuiuc.blogspot.com.At the CABER BioprocessingLaboratory, researchers and commercialpartners can test scale-upand commercialization steps fornew feedstocks, biofuels production,and biochemical production.Progress in this lab will createopportunities and new crops forfarmers and help produce sustainablerenewable energy sources.CABER’s educational activitiesinclude coordinating the professionalscience master’s degree inbioenergy, a 16-month programcombining science classes, businessclasses, and an internship.Its seminar series in advancedbioenergy topics is held duringthe spring semester and is opento the general public. An onlineclass in bioenergy also is offeredin the spring semester.CABER is a founding memberof the Illinois Biomass WorkingGroup, which discusses opportunitiesfor farmers, industry, academics,and the financial industryto work together on biomass issues,including logistics, marketcreation, research, and small- tolarge-scale heat and electricityprojects. For more information,visit www.illinoisbiomass.org.TENT DISPLAYSAGRONOMY DAY 201339

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