LSU AgCenter sugarcane pest specialist Al Orgeron has two projects underway that could help soybean yields.
He is working with AgCenter agent Jimmy Flanagan to test several crop additives to determine their effectiveness. The companies selling the products claim they help soybeans in stressful growing environments.
The products are Harvest Plus, Allevia, Fullscale, Bio-Forge and ANOVA.
“Most of them are untested in Louisiana,” Orgeron said.
The products were first applied with a ground rig at the R2 and R3 stages. A second foliar application followed 21 days later. The plots, located at a farm in Franklin Parish, are 35 feet wide by 250 feet long.
Imagery made with a drone hasn’t shown any differences, but the yield results will provide the best indications of any effectiveness, Orgeron said.
Most sugarcane growers were reluctant to plant soybeans in 2020 because of the price.
“There’s not a whole lot of room for profit with $8.50 beans,” Orgeron said.
Orgeron also is working with AgCenter agent Matt Foster to investigate the value of adding insecticide to paraquat desiccant spray. Redbanded stink bugs can be found in large numbers in southeast Louisiana bean fields, and they can inflict heavy damage.
“There’s not a whole lot of research about adding insecticides to desiccants,” he said.
These tests will be conducted on commercial farms in Franklin and in Vacherie on plots 35 feet wide by 1,000 feet long. The treatments will include paraquat plus acephate, paraquat plus Lannate, and paraquat only.
AgCenter agronomist Manoch Kongchum is conducting date-of-planting and fertility studies at the South Farm of the H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station in Crowley and at a farm near Iowa, Louisiana.
To replicate growing conditions in southwest Louisiana, no raised beds or irrigation are being used.
The date-of-planting study has planting dates of March 25, April 14, May 5, May 21, June 1 and June 10 with maturity groups ranging from 3.0 to 5.4.
Kongchum has been conducting the study since 2017.
“The optimum date of planting is about mid-April until the end of May,” he said.
The fertilizer trials with potassium, phosphorus, sulphur and zinc did not show much difference in the rates or timing trials, but that may have been because of heavy rain after planting and poor stand establishment almost every year of the work, he said.
Kongchum also has a date-of-planting study this year at the Dean Lee Research and Extension Center with AgCenter soybean specialist David Moseley.
This story is featured in the Louisiana Soybean and Grain Research and Promotion Board 2020 Report.
Manoch Kongchum inspects a soybean plot for his date-of-planting study at the South Farm of the H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station near Crowley. Photo by Bruce Schultz