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Jeff Burbrink: Growers challenged with irrigation of soybeans

Soybean growers are saying this year's yields aren't meeting expectations.


Posted on Feb. 18, 2014 at 6:55 p.m.

Around Area Farms

I have heard from numerous soybean growers that yields on irrigated ground just don’t seem to meet expectations. It has been a phenomenon across the course sands in northern Indiana and southern Michigan for several years now. In some cases, non-irrigated yields have been comparable to irrigated yields, which just does not make sense. Diseases, nematodes and poor nodulation have been suspected, but no one cause has been determined.

Because of this, the Michigan Soybean Checkoff, the Indiana Soybean Alliance, Michigan State University Extension and Purdue Extension are cooperating to conduct a meeting to help producers improve their irrigated soybean yields. The meeting will be on Thursday, March 6, at the Blue Gate Restaurant and Theater, 195 N. Van Buren St., Shipshewana. The program will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Presenters from Michigan State and Purdue University will address the following topics specific to soybean production on irrigated coarse-textured soils: agronomic recommendations; soybean cyst nematode management; disease management; double crop soybeans; irrigation water application rate and timing; and an overview of irrigation scheduling programs. It is hoped there will be a lot of dialogue between growers and specialists to gather information about what may be holding back the yields.

There is no registration fee, as all costs will be covered by the Michigan Soybean checkoff and the Indiana Soybean Alliance. However, pre-registration is required to ensure that we have enough food and educational materials. Please call the Allegan County MSU Extension office at 269-673-0370 and press “27” before noon on Tuesday, March 4, to register.

Jeff Burbrink is an Extension educator in agriculture and natural resources. Write to him at 17746 E. C.R. 34, Goshen, IN 46528; call 533-0554; or fax 533-0254.


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