I’m always looking for a reason to talk about my dog because, well, I’m obsessed with him. I think I can use him to draw a good analogy of the importance of season-long scouting in your soybean fields. Let me put it like this: my dog is a living thing that I care for deeply. As he cannot talk, I am the only one who can advocate for him and his wellbeing. Just because my dog is getting old (he’s 10.5 but has had a number of serious health problems thus far in life), doesn’t mean I stop paying attention to him or stop caring for him.

corn tar spot
green leaf with black fungal stroma

Tar spot on corn is here to stay in Illinois.

image with details about upcoming field day

The Northwest Illinois Agriculture Research and Demonstration Center outside of Monmouth, Illinois will be holding an Ag Field Day on July 27 this year. The program will run from 8 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Presenters for the field day are Nick Seiter, Emerson Nafziger, Trent Ford, Phillip Alberti, and Greg Steckel. Topics will include corn rootworm, nitrogen management, climate trends, hemp, and corn/soybean planting dates. The program is free to attend, and water/light refreshments will be provided. We will be out in the fields, so bring a hat, sunscreen, etc.

To many, science can seem like magic. Abracadabra and *whoosh* something appears seemingly out of thin air. However mystical and misunderstood science can be, it is not magic. It is science. As such, things cannot be manifested out of nothing.

“But Chelsea, why on earth are you talking about science and magic?”

Simply put, I want to spin you a cautionary tale that may be more familiar than you realize. The tale is that of fungicides and disease management in soybean.

photo of a sweat bee covered in pollen

Did you know that more than one-third of the food humans consume depend on pollinators for reproduction, i.e., fruit set? And when talking about flowering plants, three-quarters require pollinator intervention for reproduction. 

Granted, I know my audience here is primarily corn and soybean producers in Illinois. Corn plants are designed for pollen to fall on the silks, and soybean flowers are self-pollinating. So why worry about pollinators? 

title of article in a graphic form

It’s never too early to think about plant diseases!

There are few sure things in this great wide world of ours. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west, gravity holds us down to the earth, and living things are susceptible to pests and pathogens. 

When you put your beans out in the field, there are numerous plant diseases than can wreak havoc in your field. However, the incidence and severity of a disease can be highly variable, and management can be tricky.