“The little things all added up to be a big thing,” is how Bob Creasey describes capturing the top spot in the 2020 contest. The Geddes, South Dakota, farmer is near the Missouri River where
he can draw water for irrigation. There was, however, room for improvement, according to Creasey.
“We’ve always been able to raise good beans,” he said, “but not as good as we thought we should in comparison to our corn yields.”
Creasey sought agronomic advice from Alpena, South Dakota-based Next Level Ag, as well as from Pioneer agronomists, for whom Creasey is a sales representative. With that knowledge, and with help from his nephew and farming partner Tyson Dyk, something clicked. “This year it worked out,” said Creasey. “It was one of those things where everything all came together.”
Creasey compensated for late summer drought by extending his irrigation season. “Normally we’re done around September first,” he said. “This year we pushed our irrigation another couple of weeks, and I think that had a lot to do with it as well.” The crop got some assist from 28 percent nitrogen applied through Creasey’s center pivot.
The resulting yield, the highest of the 2020 contest, was 118.14 bushels an acre, entered in the Group 2 or 3 Irrigated category. Creasey drilled the Pioneer Lumisena-treated soybeans with 10-inch row spacing following a couple of passes of turbo tillage.
As most conscientious growers, Creasey keeps a close eye on his soybean crop from planting to harvest. He doesn’t have as much weed pressure as farmers to the east of him, but there are some notable maladies he scouts for.
“Fire weed or foxtail or anything like that is one our biggest concerns,” he said, adding that he also keeps his eyes peeled for insect pests. “We’re always looking for the bean leaf beetle, and of course a little later on we deal with the aphids.” A combination of Authority Elite and metribuzin is applied to fight weeds prior to emergence. Generic glyphosate is applied post-emergence. Insecticide is applied along with the second herbicide application.
It’s Creasey’s aim to improve, which is one of his reasons for entering the soybean yield contest. “It challenges you,” Creasey concludes. “It kind of makes you decide to see if you can do better than you did before.”