Considering Soybeans as a Potentially Lower Input Cost Alternative to Corn in 2022

March 8, 2022

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 - To go ahead and switch things over, our next presenter is going to be Mike Staton. He's our soybean educator. And I see that Mike is on. So maybe what we could do just to change things up a bit is maybe I could present Mike's slides and I'll just try to do it, you know, the way Mike would do it. Mike, that sound all right? I'm just messing around. - No, that sounds good. - Yeah. So Mike is a senior soybean educator, you can tell from the white hair. (Mike laughs) So he is a wealth of... If you ever heard Mike talk, he's a wealth of knowledge. He's gonna tell us. And actually, Mike, feel free to take a little bit extra time, 'cause we're a little bit ahead of schedule. So I'll give you kind of a heads up when we're getting close to your time. But thanks for joining us today. - Sounds real good, Eric. I really appreciate the invitation. Can you hear me okay? - Yeah, perfect. - Good, good. Eric, I'm gonna go ahead and share my screen then and... All right, well, I really appreciate the invitation. Actually, Bruce Mackellar was the person that invited me to speak today and Bruce has a lot of foresight, those of you that know him. And one of the things that he was concerned about is the relative income potential of corn versus soybeans this year. When you look at the market prices, you look at the input costs and Bruce and his crystal ball, he really thought that soybeans were gonna look more favorable. So he asked me to put this presentation together and deliver it today. So, hopefully I hit the mark and give Bruce what he was looking for. Before I do that, I wanna put this side up, Betsy Braid sent this to me yesterday, and it's just acknowledgement of our sponsors for today. It's bouncing around a little bit, but these are our sponsors for today and we really appreciate your sponsorship, making this possible. There's some expenses, some closed caption type expenses, things like that, that go into this. This slide is really important. This slide basically shows that everything that Michigan State University does is available to everyone. And I know I'm kind of cutting it short on the words, but I really think that that's the intent. Everything we do is available to everyone. And I think we'd all agree, that's the way we would want it. This is kind of what Bruce was talking about, I think. When we look at this slide right here, this is the most recent, there's several universities that do this, Illinois, Purdue, Nebraska, other universities do this, but they basically make projections, income projections based on what we know at a given point in time. And this one was updated as of the 10th of February, it was the most recent one I could find. What I like about it is that the yields seem to match. Purdue gave us three different options, kind of a low yield, medium yield and high yield option. You'll see that I kinda picked a medium yield option. We're comparing 182 bushel corn to 55 bushel beans. And you've got the gross income across the top there, you've got the harvest price that you're using, you've got the gross income, basically the price times the yield. And then we start to get into really the mean, and so it really looks good in favor of corn, I mean, when you look at those numbers. But you've gotta look at some of your costs and this is we're gonna look at now. So these would be the variable cost for corn, variable cost for soybeans, just at a glance. One of the most obvious things that you see is that your corn prices for every input are higher than they are for soybeans. I mean, fertilizers are no brainer, we know that, but this is more so, this everything right down the line. Now, the one thing that this does not show for corn is it does not include a tar spot fungicide application in that budget, that is not in the corn budget. So if you wanted to add, I don't know, 32 to 40 bucks an acre for tar spot application probably you should do that in much of Michigan. The other thing that doesn't show though, is if we're gonna be growing back to back soybeans, we may have an increased potential for white mold, for example, and there would be some additional costs in managing white mold. There would be a fungicide application, which could be 25 to 30 bucks an acre, or there could be maybe an additional tillage operation. You know, there's a number of things that could increase the cost on the soybean side. But if you take those two things out of the equation, just look at it at face value, you come down here and look at the bottom and boy, the soybeans do look better. They look to the tune of 70 bucks an acre, better than corn given these prices. Now, I will tell you, Roger Betz... I've worked with Roger Betz for years, farm financial management, educator, and Rogers really states very strongly that producers need to use their own numbers in these categories. These are just table value or you know, kind of a swag, but you really should use your own numbers to make this type of a big picture decision. So that's the benefits. Now what about the risks? What are some of the risks of not rotating our soybean crop? Well, we're reducing yields, especially in the long term, that's the concern. We may not reduce them that much and I'll show you some data in the short term, but there's some long term pests that might be favored by shortening the rotation that might affect us long term. So you... I really think we need to think of this as more than just a short term decision, but we gotta look at the long term ramifications. So soil-borne diseases are one of the main things that get increased by a short rotation. We also, something I never thought of, but as we get a more rapid development of herbicide resistant weeds in a shorter rotation, I guess it makes sense, but it is something that does actually happen. One that I think could be overlooked very easily is there's a potential to under apply potassium fertilizer in soybean, a second year soybean rotation. There's also potential decline in soil quality, greater potential for soil erosion and increased harvest pressure. You think about it, if we're increasing our soybean acreage and we have to get those out in a given amount of time, that's gonna put some pressure on our soybean harvest operation. So this is the rotation risk. Now, we'll kind of go through those one by one. So, this is the rotation risk, this is data, long term data out of University of Wisconsin and Joe Lauer put this together and runs this. And what I like about this slide is it shows three crops. The yellow bars are gonna be wheat, no, I'm sorry, corn. The flash colored bars are gonna be soybeans and the green bars are wheat. So the first thing to notice is that just in a two year rotation, corn soybeans... Let's just look at the soybeans for now, I guess. But in a two year rotation, soybeans, corn, we're averaging about 60 bushels. Just by adding wheat into that rotation, corn, soybeans, wheat, we're picking up four bushels on our soybean crop. If we did that throughout the rotation, we're picking up, you know, boy, looks like 16 bushels in corn, and we're picking up 10 bushels in wheat. So, I mean, it's just a huge deal. So by shortening the rotation, we're going the wrong direction. We're... Instead of getting these nice yield increases that we're showing here, we're actually gonna be going backwards a little bit. Let me show you that next. This is the same data just looked at a little bit different way. This comes from University of Wisconsin. This bar right here is what happens. This is the kind of yield you would have if you were to plant soybeans for the first time after being in a five year continuous corn rotation. All of that corn over all of that benefit there, and then just rotating to soybeans for the first time. This far left bar is the corn soybean rotation or soybean corn rotation. This would be the long term yield average there. So if we were to go to second year soybeans, we would be looking... Or first year soybeans, I guess, out of... We're looking at this 55 bushel yield. So if we're going from this and we plant a second year soybean crop, we're only giving up one bushel. So it's not that significant, 3% yield law us. But if we go two years in a row, we're planting soybeans three years in a row basically. Now, we're talking some real yield loss, we're talking more like four or five bushels per acre and we're developing some long term pests. So this is probably the best long term rotation data that I've seen. It comes from the University of Wisconsin. So what are some of the soil borne diseases? Well, sudden death syndrome is a big one. Unfortunately, it does not really respond to rotation that well, but if you have it, have ever had it in your fields, the potential of it rearing its heads is very real, very weather dependent, cool springs 'cause the root infection and then typically wet Augusts 'cause the foliar symptoms, the toxins to move up to the foliar leaves. White mold is another one, sudden soybean cyst nematodes is another. Probably one of the biggest ones I think is SCN and then the seedling diseases. Let's look at each one of these one at a time. Sudden death syndrome. As I mentioned, it really doesn't respond to rotation as well as what we would like it to. You really gotta have an aggressive rotation, you have to have something in there that's got either clover or maybe alfalfa in there to really have a favorable effect on reducing it. But it can be managed with resistant or tolerant varieties, that's the number way of managing this. We do not delay planting, that is just an important message. Shawn Conley over at University of Wisconsin did some data several years ago, several trials, and what he showed, is he showed even in the face of significant SDS pressure, you were still better off to plant timely, even though you had more SDS toxin in the leaves and maybe yield reduction from SDS, but the early planting advantage compensated for it. So very important data set, very important lesson, don't delay planting to manage sudden death syndrome. We here in Michigan, Martin Chilvers and our on farm project, both have shown really nice benefits to Saltro and ILeVO. They're both highly effective and they should be used in SDS sites. Wherever you've seen moderate to severe SDS symptoms in your fields these products will give you a good payback. You wanna manage your irrigation applications because SDS is fostered by wet conditions. The foliar symptoms, the toxin moving up the stem is favored by wet conditions. So we wanna be able to apply enough water to produce our yields, but we don't wanna overly if we can help it. So this is one of our on farm trials looking at Saltro. And if you look right down this line right here, there's a little bit of a yellow tenge, you can see the foliar symptoms here. If you look over here, we've got a nice green, no foliar symptoms of SDS. So this happened to be an SDS trial, and we had SDS symptoms in there. So the Saltro was applied over here, seed treatment over here, none, and you can just see a visible line. The yield difference in this trial was over four bushels per acre, definitely a profitable practice to put the seed treatment on. For those of you that have not seen this and I hope that's most of you in your fields, but this is the foliar symptom of STS. This is what it looks like when the SDS moves up the stem from the root and infects the foliage. Very characteristic, there's one other disease that can mimic this and that would be brown stem rot. Very easy to tell the difference. You basically just split the stem if the center of the stem is brown, and then at brown stem rot, if it's not, then you've got SDS. White mold. This is, I think, one of the diseases that will be favored by a short rotation. And so again, one of the most important things you can do is to select resistant or tolerant varieties. Very, very important. It's your best way of managing the disease, it really is. White mold is a very complicated disease, it does need multiple tactics thrown at it. But I think at most people's top of the list, resistant or tolerant varieties is gonna be right there. The one... The next bullet is something that many people don't think about. But if you think about the fact that the sclerotia, the reproductive structure of white mold only germinates in the top two inches of the soil, it does not germinate in anything deeper than that. So the kind of a rule of thumb with tillage and white mold is if you're gonna be growing a susceptible crop in a field that had white mold the previous year, you wanna bury those sclerotia, you wanna get them deeper than two inches so that they won't germinate and affect the second susceptible crop. If you're gonna be planting a resistant crop, a crop that's not susceptible like wheat or corn, then you leave those sclerotia right on the surface, do not bury them. Leave them right on the surface, let them germinate, let them do their thing and try to infect that non-host crop and you've burned them out. Kind of think of them as weed seeds, I think is a good way to about sclerotia. Think of them as weed seeds in a weed seed bank, think of a sclerotia bank. So the downside of burying them is they will last longer. They will live five to eight years anyways in the soil if they're buried deeper than two inches. And then subsequent tillage practices will, of course, bring them back up to the surface. One that I think you're seeing more and more information about when it comes to managing white mold is reducing planting rates. And I'll show you some data why I'm pretty high on the practice. Increased row spaces. Martin Chilvers and his colleagues across the country have determined that 15 inch rows are not quite wide enough to really reduce the pressure from white mold. They're probably better than seven and a half, but they're really not enough to quite get the air movement that we need. They basically have stated in a number of publications that 20 inches is kind of the minimum number. You really wanna widen those rows out to 20 inches or more. The other one I think that's very important is to plant a range of adapted maturity groups. And you don't go crazy on this, but for any given field, I think you could go eight tenths of a maturity group. If it's in that adapted range and if you're choosing the best varieties, you won't see a yield difference, if you don't go much above eight tenths of a maturity group. So I think it is a really good tool. This is the sclerotia that I was talking about. Those black kind of a rat dropping, they're bigger than mouse droppings, more like a rat dropping, but those darn things will live for five to eight years in the soil. So those are what we really have to manage. This is an shot from a drone, and it shows one of our planting rate trials or on farm planting rate trials up in Saginaw and these were in 30 inch rows. And you notice the stripes, first of all, going from the lower left corner to the upper right corner, whenever you see that kind of striping, it's fairly obvious that it's induced by, you know, a management practices and the management practice that was altered here was planting rates. And we did the best we could to overlay the planting rates over the strips. I shouldn't say we, a colleague of mine, (mumbles) did this and really did a nice job. And you can see the lower planting rates really do reflect the greener beans. And so pretty interesting study. And this was up in Saginaw in 30 inch rows. Let me show you the yield data from the trial. So that's this trial right here, Saginaw. These would be the planting rates, 80,000 all the way up to 160,000, four different planting rates. I know that 80 looks pretty low, but just bear with me. So in 2018, that's when this occurred. Look at these yields, 66 bushels per acre and dropping only 80,000, but here we dropped 160,000 and we gave up five bushels. We lost five bushels per acre by planting twice as much seed, and the reason is white mold. We verified it here with this drone picture, we also verified it by disease incidents. We actually went out in that trial and took disease incidents ratings, and they maxed the... They were just the inverse of course of the yields. We had less incidents up here and more incidents down here. Now, what happened to yield? I'm sorry, to income? Over here is the income. And these are the factors I used. I used 13 bucks an acre for a soybean price, and I used 60 bucks for 140,000 seed unit. So we dropped 80,000 and we earned $827 an acre. We drop 160,000 and our income is reduced by 100 bucks an acre. 100 bucks an acre, that's the combination of the yield loss and the seed cost. So was that unique? I don't think so. Here's 2015 in Sanilac and very similar trend and we just didn't have as aerial photos and those kinds of things there. These were in 15 inch rows, but look at the income there, very similar, $100 spread per acre between the 80,000 and the 160,000. So I do think planting rates can be a very effective way of managing white mold. So some other tactics, remember it's a complicated thing and we do need to throw multiple tactics at it. One of the ones is foliar fungicides, they are very effective. There's some excellent fungicides out there, but we have to be sure and use them at the right time and apply them in the right way. If the conditions are favorable, they will give you a payback. How do you know if the conditions are favorable? Well, the Forecaster app is one of the best things you can do, especially if you're a non irrigated producer, like up in the thumb, muck soils, places like that, very accurate tool for predicting the apothecia or the white mold mushrooms. Under irrigation, it doesn't seem to perform as well. We're working on it, but I would still use it if I was irrigated producer, for sure, but I would use it maybe in combination of other things. The one thing I'd say abouts Forecaster is it doesn't predict future weather. So if it gives you a red category that you do, you know, there's an over 40% chance of this happening. And it says to spray. If it was my field, I would look at the future weather forecast. And if it's gonna turn off hot and dry after that, I probably wouldn't spray. If it's gonna stay cool and humid, then I would consider spraying. When... The temperature breakout on white mold is typically 85 degrees. If it's cooler than that, that favors white mold, if it's above that, it tends to suppress white mold. So we wanna select effective fungus sides and thank heavens there are. There's four really good fungicides that Martin Chilvers and his colleagues across the country have rated as good or very good, I just listed them in alphabetical order. Approach makes the list if you put on both applications, the sequential applications. And that's one of the nice things about the approach program is that they really do on their label kind of two applications. Well, what does that do for you? It spreads out your risk of missing the window or the other way around it, of hitting the ideal application window. So that's got some wisdom to it, that's sequential application. It does make it one of the more expensive a products. Endura in just one application is the most effective probably of all the fungicides, the most reliable, but it's also the most expensive. And then omega and then propulse. I think of those four, probably propulse is the least expensive on a per acre basis. Then once you make the decision to pull the trigger, you wanna properly equip and operate your sprayer. You really... It doesn't do any good to buy this product, a $30 an acre or $25 an acre fungicide, and then not apply it properly. So there's several things that go into that. We need to have volume, at least 15 gallons, of course, and 20 may actually be better. So plenty of volume. The next thing would be droplet size. We typically don't worry about droplet size on other applications so much, except for like herbicide, we try to reduce drift, but here we're doing just the opposite. We really want to get kind of medium, maybe even find a medium droplets. We want them to have enough energy to get into the canopy, but we also want them to be fine enough to give us good coverage. So usually they say, if you look in your nozzle categories, you wanna be on the fine end of the yellow category. Yellow will be the medium category for droplet size and you wanna be towards the fine end of that, more towards the orange category. And then... So then you wanna operate your sprayer properly, you don't wanna go any more than 10 miles an hour. I know that commercial applicators don't wanna hear that, even farmers don't wanna hear that, but you really don't. In a larger soybean canopy, if you go any faster than that, you will compromise your canopy penetration and droplet deposition. So just keep that in mind. Boom height is important. Keep in mind where your target is. Your target is not the top of the soybean canopy, it's more the center of the canopy or in a really tall canopy. It's gonna be at least five inches down in the canopy. So keep that in mind when you're setting a bloom height. I just-- - [Eric] I do have a question for you about white mold. - Yes. - (mumbles). So if you've got a field where you don't have white mold pressure, would you see the same reduction in population like you showed on those other slides? Would that reduction in population still yield the same results? - No, it would not yield the same results. We would not expect the 80,000 to beat the 160,000 necessarily. And actually very rarely, Eric, did that ever happen in our trials. We've done 67 planting rate trials over the last seven years. We're no longer doing them 'cause we feel like we've got a robust data set and I do need to do some long term analysis on that. But I will tell you that economically when you consider seed cost and everything, the 80,000 is typically year in and year out, more profitable than the 160,000 across all of those environments. It really something that actually the most profitable planting rate across all of our 67 environments, over seven years was the 100,000 planting rate, 130 was next, then the 80,000 and 160 was dead last because you're paying for that extra seed and it's just not translating into that much higher yield. - Okay, thanks. - Yeah. I put this slide up and if I would've been more organized, I would've asked Eric to do a pole, it would've been kind of fun, especially if we had the extra time, but I'm just gonna ask each of you in your own, you know, to kind of think about it to yourself. These pictures, I would like you to tell me, is it A or B, or tell yourself, is it A or B or both is the white mold mushroom? So is it A? Is it B? Or is it A and B in just different stages? You know, maybe B is a more mature stage of A. So we don't really have a poll, so we can't really show the results. But just sort of keep in mind, you know, your own mind and answer that question. All right. And then I'm gonna flip over and I'll show you what the answer is. So those of you that picked A, that is correct. It's the one on the left. And the one on the left is really much different than what I thought. They're very low growing to the ground, they don't stand up like a golf tee, they are like discs. Think of them more as a disc, almost on the soil surface is the way you look at them, and they're very, very small. That little white growth is a weed seedling. These are grains of sand, just incredibly small, but they're always gonna be the fleshy kind of, and they'll always be that tan color. Now over here, these are commonly mistaken as the white mold mushroom, but they're not. They're the bird's nest fungi, which is just a really beneficial fungi, it doesn't hurt any of our field crops. And the thing about it is you can always tell it because it's collar off the ground than the white mold fungi. And the other thing it has is it's got these seeds. I don't know if you can see them, but these little reproductive structures and in there they look like a bird's eggs. You know, that's why they call it a bird's nest, 'cause they look like eggs inside that. So those are very characteristic. But the reason I put this up is I have been with some of the best white mold managers that I know of, producers that deal with manure, deal with muck soils, deal with white mold, year after year and I've had them tell me that this is the white mold mushroom. So we really do have to do a good job of education and just making sure we can distinguish between the two. All right. I wanna jump to soybean cyst nematodes. And the reason I think this is probably our biggest issue in non rotated beans is SCN, unlike SDS responds highly to rotation. And both directions, if you don't rotate, it's going increase your SCN populations. They will, they'll increase by the lack of rotation. If you have a good rotation, like putting that wheat crop in there instead of just a corn soybean rotation, just throwing wheat in there makes a big difference. It reduces your SCN populations. So rotation, this passage really does respond to crop rotation. Really important to collect and submit soil samples and ask for the standard test that basically just tells you if you've got SCN and it tells you the level that you have. If the levels are high enough, or if your yields have been declining year after year, then you're gonna wanna have an SCN and type test done. And the soybean checkoff will pay for, I think, one per farm. They might actually do more than that, but I know they'll do at least one per farm on the type test. The standard test, they'll do up to 20 per farm. So there's... Really, we need to do this, there's no reason not to do it. Then based on the results of those samples, you wanna select SCN resistant varieties. And ideally, you wanna choose a different source than what you chose in 2021, a completely different source. If that's not possible, if you're planting the PI 88788 two years in a row in 21 and 22, then you absolutely have to choose a different variety than what you planted. No matter how good that yield was in 21, use a different variety in 22, it's just incredibly important. And that will have some suppression effects on the nematodes. So keep that in mind. The other thing to keep in mind is that there are alternative hosts for SCN. So even if you're doing a good job of rotation, if you're not controlling things that are in the (mumbles) family, purple deadnettle is our big one. You'll just see the spring, fields will just turn and purple in the spring. We really need to control those because those are an alternative host for soybean cyst nematode. Another one is pennycress, field pennycress, but we don't see that as much as we do the purple deadnettle. Seedling diseases are definitely increased. And the biggest one, I just read this the other day from University of Wisconsin, again, but they did a long term rotational study. And one of the diseases they showed that built up in the soil the most by not rotating was the Fusarium species. So which SDS is actually a fusarium species? So maybe lack of rotation does increase SDS, I know it doesn't decrease it very well. But anyways, they showed that Fusarium species are increased by lack of a rotation. So the two I focused on here is Phytophthora and Pythium, just because to me, they're the most common that we see. We saw a lot of Phytophthora over here in Allegan County last year and I think in other places in the state as well. Your first line of defense is, again, variety selection. But with Phytophthora, it's more complicated because there's two ways of achieving that. There's genetic resistance where you're actually relying on genes. And the advantage of that is it's actually, I think the stronger of the two when it works, because it means that your plants are now not even gonna get the disease. If you choose the right genetic resistance, your plants will not even show symptoms of Phytophthora. But the trouble with that is that's failing on us. Martin Chilvers and his graduate student, Austin, have looked at some things and they have shown that the most prevalent genetic resistant genes that we have out there, the 1k, the 1a, the 1c, are no longer effective. They're seeing significant Phytophthora infections on those type of race, resistance, genetic resistance. The reason I circle or have this in bold is because this is what is commercially available in Michigan. We don't see many varieties with the 3c or the four, but those still work according to Martin's research, but 3a should be available. So if you know you're in a, in a serious Phytophthora area, choosing a variety, that's got 3a genetic resistance would be a good choice. Another source of resistance is what they call field tolerance. Now, the difference between tolerance and and resistance is tolerance, you will actually... The plant will become infected, but it's able to tolerate the infection. It's able to fight it off. And so that is something that's really cool. The only thing about field tolerance is it typically doesn't kick in until a bit later in the season. And so if you're relying on field tolerance to carry your through, you do need to use a seed treatment and use it at the Phytophthora application rate. So... And that's because the seedlings are not resistant or tolerant to the disease. But once they get to... I can't remember the stage, it's either V1 or V3, I'm thinking it's V1, they start to develop some tolerance to the disease. Now, Pythium is a little bit different story. Pythium we don't have good genetic resistance, or at least the seed catalogs are not listing it in the catalogs at this point. So we really can't do anything there. But one of the things is that is favored by a cold rain and planting into cold soils. So you really want to avoid planting when heavy rain is imminent within 24 hours. And when I say heavy rain, I would say, you know, an inch or anything more than a half inch, I think, is imminent within 24 hours. I would be careful there. And I know it's hard to do that when we're in the heat of planting and trying to get our acreage covered. But we saw this in 2017 in the mid part of the state, around the Jackson area and Williamston area, we saw some fields that just got devastated with they were planted early. And then we got these heavy rains that moved through and we really did need to go back and replant. And Pythium was the culprit. But the good news seed treatments are incredibly effective on Pythium. You can probably guess what my next topic is gonna be by looking at this field, but this is a soybean field. It's hard to tell which one we're raising, whether it's marestail or soybeans, but this poor operator just really got hammered. Unbelievable. And I'm sure it was harvested, but I know it had to be a, a nightmare to harvest that. I did not go back and see, but that's what we want to avoid. So herbicide resistant weed management does become a bigger issue in back to back soybeans. I hate to say this because I really don't think tillage makes a big difference in soybeans, except for this issue. It really does help us with managing marestail. Marestail likes to germinate right at the soil surface, it's very shallow germinating seed, very small seed. And so if we can bury that to any appreciable depth, it's not gonna germinate. So tillage operations are recommended if you had something like that previous field. We want to prevent the seed production and one of the best ways of doing that is to rogue your fields essentially. Go out, and if you see any of the pigweed species, you know, Palmer amaranth, or waterhemp, (mumbles) before they go to seed, definitely, same with Marestail if you can. You wanna use a different seed technology than it was used in 2021, to try to prevent resistance. And we have many choices out there, the E3, the Xtendimax, the LibertyLink, we've got a lot of choices. Include herbicides that have different sites of action in each application. That's especially important in the post emergence application, but that really will help us from developing resistance. And then avoid using herbicides. This kinda gets to that third bullet, the same sites of action that were used in 2021. If we're using different seed technology, we're gonna be probably using a different herbicide with a different site of action. Nutrient management. This is the one that I think would be easily overlooked. And the reason I say that is many, many producers, if you've got some heavier ground, a very acceptable practice is to apply or broadcast fertilizer P and K on a biennial basis. It will works very well on any soils that have a CEC of probably five or greater, let's say greater than five. And if you apply it before corn, you don't wanna apply it before soybeans. You wanna apply all the P and K prior to the year you're planting corn and let the soybeans scavenge for those. But you wanna put enough nutrients on for both crops, the crop removal rates of both crops. If you're doing that, that's a really good practice, but somebody might get burned if they go back to soybeans instead of corn in 2022. They may forget to put on their biennial application. And so don't do that because shorting soybeans from potassium is not a good thing. It... They really do respond to potassium. And so just keep in mind, the removal rate is higher than corns. We remove 1.14 pounds of K₂O per bushel of soybean. So if you're looking at 60 bushel soybean crop, that's about 70 pounds of K₂O that we've removed. So it does go out fast. It also enhances disease resistance. So very important, potassium is very important. And also potassium deficient plants have been shown by multiple universities. I know Chris DiFonzo was one of the first people to see this. I believe, is that they do soybean if it really hit those hard, really favor them. Bruce and Chris found that way back, I think in 2001 down in Van Buren County. So, this is a deficient plant. This just shows potassium deficiency at various stages. I just wanna make sure we all understand this, and hopefully you don't see this in your field, but it's always gonna be the yellowing on the margins of the leave regardless of species. You will see this in corn, you'll see this in alfalfa. It's gonna be yellowing on the margins then you start to get death on the margins of the leaves like we see here, necrosis. And... But yet the center of the leaf is relatively green still. And that's very typical, it's always on the margins. There's another one showing the yellowing. So that's potassium deficiency and it should show up on the older growth and because it's mobile, it moves to where the new growth needs it and moves away from the older growth. Insect management. I asked Chris DiFonzo a couple years ago now about second year soybeans, is that gonna create a problem from the insect side? She really didn't think so, at least not significantly, but she very quickly said, "We should always scout all soybean fields for bean leaf beetles and soybean aphids." So continue to do that. And I guess I would add one more on there because of the heat that we've had, the drought we've had. Sometimes we should also be looking for spider mites. Soil quality. This is one that I think a lot of producers don't think about. You know, we think we tend to look at those dollar signs, but we don't think of the long term effects. Corn produces a lot of residue, three times as much residue as what soybeans do. The other thing that's neat about corn stover in a way we don't like it, but in a way it's good, it's got a much higher carbon to nitrogen ratio than what soybeans double does. So what that means is it's tougher to break down by the soil microbes and where soybean residue just breaks down quickly. It's got almost the ideal carbon and nitrogen ratio, I think 20 to one, something like that. It just breaks down really, really quickly where corn hangs around for a while and gives us some, you know, soil erosion benefits. So planting second-year soybeans does have the potential, unfortunately, to reduce soil quality. When we think about our field crop rotation, corn and wheat are really the only two crops that are adding any organic matter back into the soil, soybeans really don't. So, think about that before you make the decision. Second-year soybeans are also gonna be more susceptible to soil erosion because we just don't have that residue cover from the corn. Even if you're working it in a little bit, you're still gonna have 30% cover by having that corn residue with most of our tillage practices. So that's just gonna be a really big thing to think about, especially if you've got some sloping soils. Over here in my home county, we have 13, almost 14,000 acres of HEL ground and boy, oh boy, I would never consider going back to back soybeans on that kind of ground. So keep that in mind. The other thing I think that some producers don't think about when we make this long term decision is if we increase our soybean acreage, it could increase the potential for harvest ruts and soil compaction. We're gonna be in a rushed to get those beans out before we get some shattering losses, or if you're a seed producer, you gotta get it out before the phomopsis sets in and the seed if it's a wet fall, there's just a number of reasons why we may kind of push our soils and harvest soybeans wetter than we probably should. And having more acres is gonna favor that. So be cautious of that and have a plan. This is that erosion that I was talking about. This is a soybean field. This is in Allegan County. And the soybean residue was or soybean growing crop was not enough to stop this erosion. It's a really good site if you look and the horizon is missing, but it's a natural draw. And so really good site for a waterway, a grassed waterway. You know, put this to wheat, install a nice grass waterway. You don't have to use... You know, you wouldn't have to have NRCS design 'cause I know they're busy, but as long as you follow their designs and implement it yourself, I think you'd be fine just using the species that they recommend, using the shape that they recommend and sizing it properly. But after wheat is a good time to put a grass waterway in. This is some windy erosion up in a different part of the state. This happened to be around the Frankenmuth area. Very fine, beautiful lake bed soils up there and just blowing to beat the band. When I first got to Gratiot County, there was some days when it was wind like this. And one of my colleagues said, "Yeah, the real estate's changing hands today." Well, I mean... I guess, but boy, I... We wanna prevent that if we can and look at how clean tilt the field is, there's absolutely no corn residue there and that's kind of the part of the problem. - [Eric] Mike, we've got about five minutes or so. - Okay, I'm getting there. So this is another one that we don't want to have, is harvest ruts. So how do you manage it? You manage it by... So the other thing that we could have is we could have more harvest losses by having more soybeans. So the best way to manage that is to spread out your maturity and adapted maturity rates in Michigan are 2.4 to 3.2 in Southern Michigan, in Central Michigan I'd go 1.8 to 2.6. You wanna also begin harvesting when your beans are 15 to 16% moisture. And I know that sounds high, but I'll show you a table real quick that'll demonstrate that and you wanna speed up harvest operations. I'm gonna fly through some of these. You just have to trust me that these are the adapted maturity ranges and I'll skip through some slides. One thing I wanna show though, is we wanna change those adapted maturity ranges a little bit to the early side. 'Cause look at this, this is in the central zone two 1.4 maturity group beans topped the central zone trials in 2021. Look at those kinda yields. They beat beans that were at maturity groups of 2.2, flat out crushed them. So that's really interesting that we can go that early. Here's that table I wanted to show. Roger Betz put this together. What this shows is here's the harvest, we've harvested at these different moisture contents and we're taking them to the grain elevator. And so we're assessing shrink against the wet beans and we're also paying a drying charge on those wet beans. On the dry beans we're not, there's no shrink, there's no drying charge. Here's the ideal. We all wanna harvest every acre at 13% and this is why, we're getting every dollar we possibly can. I used 12.90 as the market price, Roger and I did. Now, what if we make this comparison? We compare 11% beans versus 15% beans. Let's look at this column right here. This would be the net value. After paying our or shrink and drying charges, we are money ahead, then we're five... Well, what are we? Seven bucks an acre ahead of harvesting 15 acre beans over 11 acre beans. And the reason is that water weight adds up. That's worth a lot. When you got high priced beans, that water is expensive and you don't wanna lose the at down here in this area. One more. What about 16%? That still beats 11%. Not by very much, but it's better to harvest 16% beans than 11% beans at the kind of prices. Even though you're taking them directly to the elevator. This charge just shows what happens when we speed, increase our ground speed with different header widths. So increase your ground speed when you can. And the way to know whether you can or not is if you get rugged stubble, where it's really not uniform and not cutting wear, where it's really not uniform and not cutting wear, the cutting bar is riding over the beans, And if you're leaving some pods on the stubble, you're going too fast. But if you're not seeing that and you're not sending beans, you're not increasing your threshing capacity, by all means go a little bit faster where you're can. Well, that's all I've got. I really appreciate the five minute warning, Eric. Is there time for questions? - [Eric] Yeah, we've got a couple of them. - Okay. - Everybody feel free to drop any questions that you might have into the Q&A, we've still got a few minutes left. One question kind of going back to that population, right? For the examples that you were using, what's the row spacing? - Yes, those two charts, those two in that table, the Saginaw site was actually in 30 inch rows and still had significant mold. But it's an interesting story, I'll keep it short, but the company switched varieties on him. He couldn't get the variety had plant earlier that he knew was resistant to white mold. They thought this one was just as good, he planted it and the variety did not stand up against mold the way his previous varieties did. So that's one thing. The other one, the one that was in Sanilac was actually in 15 inch rows. Both of them were planted with good unit planters though. - [Eric] Yeah, you think they worked on in seven and a half inch? - We don't. And it's not just work, Eric. It's interesting because like I said, we've had 67 planting rate trials and only two sites out of those 67 trials had significant mold pressure. So it's kind of a perfect storm. I was giddy as a school boy on the Saginaw site, when I saw that aerial photo and the grower told me he had, you know, striping going in, had mold in his planting rate trial, I was really happy about it, he was not so happy. But it's a pretty rare occurrence when you can get that confluence of things happening at the same time, I guess. - Would SDS have a tendency to be worse in second-year beans? - I think the fact that the Fusarium... It's a question from Martin Chilvers, and I'll have to get back with the individual, but what makes me say yes, I'm gonna say a strong maybe, but I'm even leaning toward yes, is this data that I... A statement I read from University of Wisconsin the other day that Fusarium species are most likely to increase in non-rotated crops. And of course, STS is a Fusarium species. So that's how I'm gonna answer that. - [Eric] Okay.

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