Source: Illinois Soybean Association
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (Nov. 14, 2012) - The Illinois Council on Best Management Practices (C-BMP), Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association (IFCA) and Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) are looking for soybean farmers in the Indian Creek and Lake Bloomington watershed districts to allow field-sized strip-till trials on a portion of their land.
C-BMP will conduct the study, "Strip-till and Fertilizer Placement for Soybeans," beginning this fall to explore new approaches to help boost per-acre yields while showcasing good environmental practices.
“Strip-till is not often used prior to soybean planting, nor is it common to apply phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) fertilizer following corn harvest for the next soybean crop,” says Dan Schaefer, director of nutrient stewardship at C-BMP. “Thanks to Illinois soybean checkoff funding, we’re going to examine the effects of these two practices on soybean yields compared to those of a farmer's usual tillage method.”
C-BMP will apply each of the following treatments in 30-foot wide strips the length of the field:
Deep-band placement of P and K (six inches under the row) with the strip-till operationBroadcast P and K followed by strip-tillBroadcast P and K using the farmer's usual tillage system (fall tillage or no-till)No fertilizer P and K using the farmer’s usual tillage system
Ron Moore, soybean farmer from Roseville, Ill., represents ISA on C-BMP. He says weather conditions this fall created good conditions for testing potential profitability of the practices.
"This onfarm study is a win-win situation for farmers,” says Moore, who also serves as ISA vice chair for sustainability. “It gives us the opportunity to see yield data and transfer the successful aspects of the study to more fields.
“It also shows environmental agencies and customers across the entire industry that soybean farmers are investing in research and new technology, such as the strip-till bar and fertilizer controllers, to reduce runoff and rates on our farms.”
If space permits, the treatments will be applied in four randomized sequences for a total of 16 strips, side-by-side. Before treatments are applied, seven-inch soil samples will be pulled, with one bulked sample per rep.
Stand counts will be collected in the spring after planting, with one count per plot. Yield data will be collected from combine yield monitors or weigh wagons. University of Illinois personnel will analyze the data for ISA to distribute to farmers next fall.