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Northern Illinois Agriculture

University of Illinois Extension
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Finding tile lines..... in a drought?

Posted by Russel Higgins - Soybeans

I noticed an interesting phenomenon this summer in several soybean fields. A distinct pattern could be seen across certain fields represented by taller soybeans. Looking at the pattern that became more evident as the soybeans matured and the dry weather continued. I have ruled out tillage, fertilizer, chemical and tire tracks. I believe the tall beans are the result of their planted location over tile lines. Tile line location is often easily visible in a wet year, but a dry year? I believe any water remaining in the tile rewetted the surrounding soil and was utilized by the beans planted directly overhead. That's my theory!

This morning I had the opportunity to join the Kane County Growers at their late season crop scouting breakfast held at their field plots north of Elburn. Conversation on the variable yields expected in northern Illinois was illustrated by the variation in kernel numbers found on randomly selected ears.

Two days away from Agronomy Day on the South Farms at the University of Illinois campus. If you plan on heading to Champaign on Thursday, I'll be leading tour D starting at 7 am!

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