I often think that this is the most exciting time of year. The leaves are falling, the fields are turning the golden brown or silvery depending on the variety and we finally learn if we saw an effect from many of our treatments. Did our management strategy work? How much did we push the yield needle? So don’t forget about your own strip trials. The key is the average not the total yield from each treatment. To account for the natural field variation, you need the average of the different strips. Then compare the different treatments to see what the difference is.
As you are going across the field and the yield monitor dips to half or lower – make note of those locations. Those are spots in the field that could indicate soybean cyst nematode, a Phytophthora pocket from poor drainage, where a deer likes to sleep, a ground hog or fox den, to mention just a few of the problems that have occurred in some of my studies over the years. For SCN, plan on sampling this fall to determine what the numbers are. For Phytophthora, choose a variety with higher levels of resistance. I think most of you have a better plan for deer and animals on your farms than I could implement on University property!
The highest yielding varieties will be the ones that could withstand the specific pressures from your field under this year’s cool, wet summer. They may not do as well under a hot dry summer, but it is a start. So take those notes. Fields filled with disease, those varieties should be planted in a different location.. not in Ohio so take good notes. Most importantly, be safe and enjoy the harvest.