Berryton, Kan.

Ah, summer … where did you go? The kids are back to school and daycare, while Mom is back in her classroom. School year preparation for my wife started the same day I finished post-spraying soybeans. It was a bittersweet day, knowing the frantic pace from catching up with spring delays was ending, but just a few days too late for a real break with the family. As the saying goes, there is always next year.

The rain keeps coming in our area. We have measured 6.5 inches of rain at our house in August. The fields generally look very good. Corn yield expectations are trending firmly above average. Had we applied more nitrogen mid-season, it would easily be a record corn year. The beans are going up fast and looking quite healthy. I have not attempted to quantify yields on beans yet.

Other than the late planting, there are so far no other factors present that would meaningfully lower yield potential. Disease and insect pressures remain light and sporadic. Last year, we harvested insurance average APH beans with substantially tougher conditions, where the longer season beans didn’t tolerate the July heat well. I can’t imagine this year would be worse, but I’m tempering my expectations until I see evidence to the contrary.

Seed decisions for next year have been on my mind a lot lately. I’m not alone in my area for considering a significant move toward Enlist soybeans next year. As such, I was excited to attend a seed company field day last week, where they presented 16 different soybean herbicide program plots, comparing various Xtend vs. Enlist application programs. I saw no meaningful difference in weed control effectiveness. Both had weeds growing between the rows where only one post application was made, and there were virtually or exactly none where a second post application was applied. Various combinations of glyphosate, 2,4-D choline, and glufosinate — with and without added residual — were all equally clean with two passes. Dicamba is tremendously effective, but its application label restrictions are tremendously difficult to manage in my area. Having the option to use dicamba is worth nothing when the weather and a field’s location provide no window to actually do it. In my situation, Enlist offers more flexibility. My eyes also tell me it works.

Local basis levels: Corn +.09, soybeans -.75, hard red wheat -.10. — Ryan Johnson

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