Research Farm at Catlin, Illinois, USA
May 2003 Articles

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2002 Research Plots

By Randy Simonson, Ph. D.
Technical Services Manager

The 2002 season was one of the most interesting and frustrating growing seasons we have ever seen.  Many areas of the country had a wet spring like we did.

We planted a little corn on May 5th but most of it wasn't planted or replanted until May 22-27.  Our soybeans were planted May 29 but there were a lot of June beans this year.

June weather wasn't bad with 2.2 inches of rain in the first two weeks.  However, then the rain quit and we had no more for the next five weeks.  The little bit of corn we had planted early pollinated before the July rains and it pollinated poorly.  These three acres only averaged 132 bu/acre.

Even though the rest of the corn pollinated after the July rains, we were still concerned about its production potential.  At our August Summer Conference at the Catlin Farm we took yield estimates that ranged from 154 to 205 bu/acre.  We figured the final yields would be at the low end of this range.  However, we were pleasantly surprised when the TSM® E plots averaged 189 bu/acre over five reps and two different hybrids! This is actually higher than the 10-year average of 182 bu/acre at the research farm.  Click here to see the TSM® Scoreboard.

The corn used was Kruger K-9211 and K-9910, with the TSM® 8-18-3 germinator from Brandt Consolidated at 5 gal/acre on the seed. Lorsban® was the insecticide used and we applied Hornet® and FulTime® pre-emerge.

We figured that the soybeans would handle the "drought" better than the corn and we were right although we didn't think the soybeans would be as good as they were.   They were so good, in fact, that they were the best soybean crop we've had since starting the research farm in 1993.  The TSM® E averaged 75 bu/acre over the five reps and the TSM® A plots did 76 bu/acre!

The soybeans used on this main plot were a conventional variety from Kruger, K-3777/SCN.  For the rest of the soybean plots we used K-377 RR.  All the beans had Domain® applied pre-plant, and Flexstar® and Fusion® were applied post to the conventionals. TouchDown® was post applied twice at 1 qt./acre to the RR soybeans.

One thing I should mention about these plots that probably increased the crops' tolerance to drought.  We applied two tons of MicroStart 60 per acre to the whole field.  It was applied to all the TSM® treatments and the university and conventional treatments alike.  MicroStart 60 is pelletized, composted chicken manure from Perdue/AgriRecycle®.

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