By STEVE BINDER
GRAND RIDGE, Ill. — A jolt of rainfall sure helped David and Christ Thomas’ soybeans on their LaSalle County farm in northern Illinois.
They hosted a Farmer’s Independent Research of Seed Technologies (F.I.R.S.T.) plot in what has become the worst drought year since the 1930s, but their northern Illinois section was hit with enough rain in late July and early August that yields were “eye-opening,” said F.I.R.S.T. Site Manager Jason Beyers.
“They got some late-season rain in July and early August, so it really helped their fields a lot, plus the soil types there have great water-holding capacity, so the beans did really well,” Beyers said.
Height on the plants was more than respectable, he added, coming in at between 36-45 inches.
“This plot just fell together well, all the way around, from the soil type to the height and the uniformity. It was easy to cut and went right through the machine, as I recall,” Beyers said. “Sometimes with plants even taller, they get clogged. Not this plot. This was one great plot to harvest.”
The top-producing brand was Stine 29RB22 with an average yield of 78.4 bushels per acre and a moisture percentage of 9.7, a touch below the average for the entire plot of 9.8 percent. The estimated gross income per acre for the variety was $1,333, well above the test plot’s average of $1,161.
Coming in second was LG Seeds C322OR2 at an average of 77.3 bushels per acre, an average income of $1,314 per acre and moisture percentage at 9.9. Third was Dyna-Gro’s 38RY28 at 76.7 bushels per acre, income at $1,304 and a moisture content of 9.8 percent.
The entire plot’s average yield was 68.3 bushels per acre, with 29 out of the 54 varieties planted coming in above the average. Average soil moisture was 9.8 percent.
The beans followed corn with Keystone and Laudis, and received only Roundup during the entire process from planting May 15 through the harvest on Oct. 1. The test plot was not irrigated.
For a complete list of all brands tested and a searchable database of information, go online to www.firstseedtests.com