A good friend of mine used to say…. “A cucumber can become a pickle, but a pickle can never become a cucumber.” As I look at soybean fields in my travels across and around Central Valley Ag territory, I am repeatedly reminded of that. Yes, this is one of those rare occasions that I write about soybeans. I should do it more, but I always get sidetracked by our more attractive crop corn, which is part of the problem for all of us.
We are having two separate problems in our soybeans in the area. North of I would say HWY 91 we run into the problem of white mold, in the area South of that we run into more of a problem with sudden death syndrome. The only real similarity is the fact that they both tend to stay with the field and become long-term risks of continued infections when favorable conditions exist. The problem is that in both cases the favorable conditions is fairly common in Nebraska and Iowa. Management of these two problems is going to be quite different, other than a few foundation things. There is one simple fact. Much like the pickle, once you realize you have a problem with either of these diseases in a field we must not pretend like that problem goes away before we plant soybeans there again. We must somewhere in the collective notes between you and your trusted advisor tag this field forever as a potential problem that MUST be dealt with. This is where the whole “not getting distracted” by the intermediate corn crop that will help us forget the soybean problems.
Once we remember what those fields are, we can take the right actions to get a management plan in place. These management plans are going to be a systems approach because with both diseases we have to change multiple interactions to have the greatest chance of thriving through these diseases. As we enter fall and the winter meeting schedule we will take a look at both diseases individually and talk about the management it will take. We also will take a look at some of the new tools in the toolbox to help us in those management systems.
For this year, the fact of the matter is just a few things we can do, and none of them will help mitigate yield loss. In the case of white mold, we can change our harvest schedule to harvest those infected fields last to keep from spreading the disease. The few other things we can do is think about how our tillage operations will affect future infections down the road. The most important thing you can do is think about your future bean crops and take the time to identify those potential problems for 2016 now and talk with you Central Valley Ag FSA on how we are going to manage those fields next year and all the years in the future.
Lastly, I would like to thank all of our customers of Central Valley Ag for choosing us as their trusted advisors and partners in your operations as we prepare to close the first fiscal year. We look forward to continuing to deliver innovative solutions that generate value and profit for you in the future. That is definitely an honor for us to be there for you every day.