Monday, November 14, 2016

Needing to be Advised on Soybeans? Check out

The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) represents more than 45,000 soybean farmers in Illinois through the state soybean checkoff and membership efforts.  The checkoff funds market development, soybean production and profitability research, promotion, issues management and analysis, communications and education.  Membership and advocacy efforts support Illinois soybean farmer interests in local areas, Springfield and Washington, D.C.  ISA programs are designed to ensure Illinois soy is the highest quality, most dependable, sustainable and competitive in the global marketplace.  For more information, visit the website

In 2015, to improve Illinois soybean production and profitability, the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) partnered with the Illinois Certified Crop Adviser Program to launch the Soy CCA Envoys.  The Soy CCA Envoys are a network of Certified Crop Advisers (CCAs) in Illinois who will share management information and recommendations on  These CCAs work directly with producers and, through partnering with ISA, will share high-yield management strategies and technologies to help growers discover the true profit potential of soybeans.

The Soy CCA Envoys program is funded in part by the Illinois soybean checkoff and is included in ISA's efforts with CCAs to continually improve soybean production in Illinois.  For more information on the Illinois Certified Crop Adviser Program, visit

In 2016, Stephanie Porter, Burrus Seed Sales Agronomist was asked to be an ILSoy CCA Envoy, along with 5 others across Illinois.  To date, Stephanie has written 22 blogs on website as well as a soybean disease webinar and podcast. To access this information, you can click here or below: 

Managing Japanese Beetles

By Dan Davidson8/4/2016Will a Japanese beetle breakout this year force growers to spray?  Our advice – scout your fields to see if beetles are a threat and if treatment is warranted. Photo...

Meet Your Soy CCA Envoys

By ISA6/14/2016There are six soybean experts who are part of the Soy CCA Envoy program, each specializing in a different area of soybean management. Read their bios below. Lance...
(The above links can be found at

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Foliar fungicide on corn in 2016: why, when, and did it pay?

After pollination, the corn yield potential is set.  We can't add to the corn yield potential, but we can try to preserve it!  Think of the corn leaves (especially the top leaves) as factories for photosynthesis and their job is to make sugars for plant growth, development and grain yield.  If there is leaf loss or stress at tassel or during grain fill, the corn plant may have a reduction in yield potential.

In 2016, when we scouted at tassel, disease did not appear critical, especially in areas where it had been dry in June.  But later during grain fill, after massive amounts of rain, diseases such as gray leaf spot and southern rust (in the south) came in full force, especially if susceptible hybrids were planted within heavy residue. 

A fungicide application may have been warranted on susceptible hybrids between the corn growth stages of tassel and brown silk.  In some cases, fungicide could have been applied before dent if warranted, to try to preserve corn yield, but in these tight economic times, this was risky.  It has been well documented that the higher percentage disease on the plant, the greater the yield loss.  Leaf disease can also be indirectly correlated to the development of stalk rot. Research has also shown that if there is high disease pressure present and fungicides are applied at the right time, there is a greater potential for a yield response from a fungicide, which can increase your return on investment.

(Western Illinois)
On April 8 and 23, 2016, fungicide trials labeled as dryland and irrigated were planted into fields that had been corn planted after corn near Arenzville, IL by the Burrus research team.  The dryland study consisted of four replications and the irrigated study consisted of three replications of 14 hybrids, which were either treated or a control.  On June 30, 2016, a 14 oz. rate of Headline AMP® fungicide was applied to treated hybrids and no fungicide was applied to the control hybrids.  Even though it was dry in June, before pollination, the dryland study appeared to have very good disease pressure later in the season, due to rain and river bottom environment. There was also a distinct visual difference between the treated and control hybrids.  Hybrids that received a fungicide application appeared to stay green and have overall better health. On average, this fungicide application added a 5 to 9 bu/a increase depending on hybrid and location. 

(Eastern Illinois)
On the other side of the state, The BASF Midwest Research Farm (Seymour, IL) conducted a hybrid x fungicide trial in 2016 that included 53 hybrids from 8 different seed companies in a field that was third year corn.  Similar trials were conducted in 2014 and 2015.  The trial was planted April 18th and received adequate rainfall throughout the growing season. Foliar disease pressure was relatively low, but the application of Headline AMP (10 fl oz/A) fungicide at (VT/R1) resulted in improved growth efficiency and stress tolerance (ie., late season stalk integrity, stay green, and extended grainfill).  The average Headline AMP® fungicide yield advantage of the Burrus hybrids was 10 bu/A and the average yield response of all hybrids was 10.7 bu/A. 

Fungicides can range in price from $16 to $31 per acre which includes fungicide, airplane application, and adjuvants. So, 2016 was a year when a fungicide application could have given a return on investment as well as improve overall plant health and standability.  Remember in some situations, you may want to factor in the cost of increased moisture.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Meet Ted Ballard - New Account Manager

Joining the Burrus team this year is Ted Ballard.  Ted is an Account Manager covering Morgan and Scott counties and is extremely excited to provide the quality of service each farmer expects and deserves. 

Ted grew up on a family farm around Carrollton, Illinois where he has been involved in row crop and hay production as well as the livestock industry.  Ted is a diehard St. Louis Cardinals, Blues, and Notre Dame football fan.  He loves to travel and loves the outdoors.  In his spare time, he can be found kayaking, fishing, hunting and hiking.

He is a graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale where he obtained both his Bachelor and Master of Science Degrees in Plant, Soil and Agriculture Systems.  While at SIU, Ted was a full-time staff member at the University Farms where he served as Senior Agricultural Research Technician and managed the Colleges Agronomy Research Center.  Here, he worked alongside several different research teams and countless small plot research studies.

Ted presented information on ILeVO and PowerShield SDS seed
treatment for growers at New Technology Day

Ted has a sincere desire to work with growers and help them be successful.  He understands the hard work, dedication and commitment that is required to ensure your farm’s success and wants to be on your team.  You can reach Ted at (618)-946-0050 and let him help you continue to grow your legacy by planting Burrus in your fields. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

2016 Illinois Farm Family of the Year - The Powell Family

Burrus Hybrids partnered again with Illinois Agri-News to sponsor the 2016 Illinois Farm Family of the Year.  The Jim Powell family from Greene County was chosen for the award, presented on September 10 during University of Illinois' Salute to Agriculture Day.  

To be on campus for Ag Day was especially meaningful to Jim, having received a Master of Science degree in civil engineering from U of I.  He was also involved in ROTC while in college.  He wanted to carry on the long tradition of military service of his grandfather and six uncles.  The seven brothers served in World War II following the attack on Pearl Harbor and all returned home safely after the conflict.  In their honor, a portion of US Highway 67 is named for them.  Jim’s dream was to be a pilot like his grandfather and father but while in ROTC, he learned he was color blind and wasn’t able to fly.

Jimmy Powell, son of Jim and Janet, along with his wife and children are the fifth generation of the family to live and farm in the Hillview area.   Their farming operation includes corn and soybean row crops and have proactively adapted to agriculture’s ever-changing technology to ensure the next generation can continue to farm and carry on this rich legacy.  They have a 40 head herd of beef cattle.  In addition, the family operates the local elevator. 

The family has been active in the community serving on various local boards, levee districts, and hospital boards.  They are strong supporters of the local 4-H, FFA and other school-related organizations and clubs.

For all the Powell family does on and off the farm and for the manner in which they do it all together as a family, we are proud to salute them as the 2016 Illinois Farm Family of the Year.

Read more about the Powell family in the Illinois Agri-News article here

Friday, October 7, 2016

How high can Hoblit 384LL yields go?

Picture sent by Donny Marnin, Account Manager, central Missouri
It has been exciting to receive updates from Account Manager Donny Marnin about the yields of the Hoblit 384LL soybean variety in central Missouri. This variety is a top seller not only for its performance, but also because of its maturity range.  Since a 3.8 maturity can be planted within such a large area, during the last several years we have tested and proven that the 384LL can yield in multiple soil types and in multiple environments within the Burrus territory. However, in the recent ILSOY advisor blog:  Sassy, Savvy, and Shrewd Soybean Selection for 2017, I mentioned that some soybean varieties have a sweet spot for certain areas, and the Hoblit 384LL thus far appears to really feel at home in Missouri.

This soybean is of average height with great standability and, of course, alot of pods!  It has a good disease package, but can respond to fungicides if conditions are favorable for leaf diseases during podfill.  Lastly, if you have had a history of SDS or are planting early, we would highly recommend the addition of PS SDS (ILeVO®) seed treatment with this variety.  To learn more about the Burrus LibertyLink® Line up, you can visit the Burrus Soybean Products Selection Guide.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Meet Pete George - New Sales Manager

We are excited to introduce a new Burrus Sales Manager, Pete George.  Residing in Utica, Illinois, Pete has the pleasure of working with five Account Mangers serving customers in 20 counties across west central Illinois.  Pete has had the opportunity to be around agriculture the past 19 years with his In-law’s farming operation in LaSalle County. 

Pete’s wife, Tricia, is a registered nurse.  Their family includes son Matt, 14, who just started his freshman year of high school and daughter Abbie, 12, who is in 7th grade.  Pete and his wife enjoy watching their kid’s sporting events as they are involved in football, track, basketball and volleyball.  He also enjoys golfing, but his true passion is hunting waterfowl and upland birds with his 6 year old chocolate lab.    

Pete joins Burrus with 20 years of sales experience, including working in the grain business for 6 years as a Farm Marketer for Cargill, Inc. covering northern Illinois. Prior to joining Burrus, Pete worked as an Account Manager for DuPont Pioneer in Woodford and Marshall Counties.  Pete’s desire is to help growers be successful by assisting them in making good business decisions.  Pete is proud to be a member of the Burrus team.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Can you Reduce your Soybean Planting Population?

University research has shown many times that it can be done, but yet, some growers are still uneasy. With today’s farm economy, I am getting asked about reducing soybean planting populations quite frequently. 

We usually start with a soybean planting populations of around 140,000 seeds per acre for 30 inch rows, but this will increase with narrow row spacing. For more information, check out information at Soybean Production in Missouri. You can start to decrease soybean population if you have excellent seed quality, seed treatment, pre and post residual herbicides, and ideal planting conditions. A target should be around 100,000 plants per acre as a final stand, and in some situations, you can get away with lower stands, without replant, if stands are consistent across the field. 

In the past several years, two Burrus dealers took my challenge to do some “on farm” testing to see if reducing soybean planting rates could work on their farm. This year, Burrus dealer Jason Zimmer, located near Reddick, did his own on farm trial. He planted 24 rows (not replicated) of Power Plus® 28H5™* treated with PowerShield® at planting populations of 75,000, 100,000, 125,000, and 150,000. The field was planted on May 6th into no-till, 30 inch rows, with a burndown, pre residual, and post of glyphosate. There was significant disease pressure this year! Here are the results:

75K – 62.9 bu/a

100K – 65.6 bu/a

125K – 65.6 bu/a

150K – 66.9 bu/a
*No significant yield differences in 100K, 125K, and 150K planting populations.

In 2015 Burrus Dealer, Pete Gill offered Burrus the use of 3 soybean plots to evaluate seed treatments and plant populations. Each of small plots were around 200 x 300 feet in size and located within cornfields, so the planting date remained the same on May 18th, 2015 and only received a post application of glyphosate. Each of plots were planted with 3 replications (6 row strips) of 3 different seed treatment mixes as well as untreated of the soybean variety PowerPlus® 32D5™*. Each of the plots consisted of a different soybean population: 70,000 140,000, and 200,000 seeds/acre. There was light weed pressure and possible residue issues that could have increased variability within these plots. Disease pressure was light. 

Every year will be different, but, recently weed and disease pressure have some growers spending additional input cost towards residual herbicides and “game changer” seed treatments such as PS SDS (PowerShield® + ILeVO®), to gain cleaner fields and insurance against disease. With this added peace of mind, could we lower input costs by reducing seed costs? The answer is yes.