For several years, Charlie Baucom, Bentwood Farms, had seen consistent yields with his soybeans, but just knew he could do better. So he sat down over the winter with his team from Southern States, Steven and Brandon Harrelson, and his Monty’s representative, Michael Thompson. The result was a high-intensity management program that would not only produce higher yields, but also improve the health of his plants and the soil. They also realized there would be quite a few moving parts to the plan: location, seed, timing, chemicals, etc.
Once they settled on a plan, they had to find the ideal location. They decided on about 900 acres of Carolina base soil in Marion, South Carolina. “It’s some of the most productive soils in this area for sure… probably nationwide.”
Their plan required a variety of products with specific expectations. “We looked at using a pop up fertilizer – Monty’s 6-24-6 – along with a couple quarts of Monty’s Liquid Carbon, and a quart of Microhance.” They also used a biostimulant and a liquid potash. “We really set the seed up to germinate well – to come on out as quickly as possible. We conditioned the soil around the root zone – we made it real easy for that bean to be successful.”
They monitored the fields throughout the season. “We started doing tissue samples every week,” said Charlie. “We monitored the fertility levels – in particular the Potash and the Boron levels. As it started blooming, we had a couple times where we had to come back in with Microhance (for Boron and Manganese). We watched it really close, including our insecticides and fungicides.”
“We used Agrihance-V, too. We saw some almost unbelievable results on how the Agrihance broke the bean basically in half – branched out like I’ve never seen. We just couldn’t believe how that plant branched out. Yes, it had room to branch out – we singulated seed some – it created a new plant basically. Where we used Agrihance-V on the plants you could see immediately those plants started suckering out and started actually putting on pods on those suckered branches. That’s something most people don’t see a lot.”
“The root mass was tremendous.” added Stephen Harrelson. “Stalks were huge. Even the branches that suckered off were producing some good size beans, good sized pods. It was phenomenal.”
The choice of bean also played a role in their success – Group 4 Asgrow soybean. “The big thing is that it’s an indeterminant bean. There are a lot of people in the southeast that don’t necessarily want to plant that early of a bean because it comes off earlier – and when it’s ready to get cut, you gotta go cut it. But we think the indeterminant bean has a lot to do with our higher yield potential. So we make sure to include that in our program as well.”
“We had yield estimates that were north of 150 bushel. We cut some spots that were north of 100 bushel – north of 130, 140 bushel. The official totals are not in yet, but it appears that they averaged about 90 bushel — over 139 in some areas! “There’s a lot of things that have got to go right to stay in that range. The good thing about what we saw this year… is cutting across a field, and you’re under the pivot cutting 120 bushel beans – that tells me that can happen on more than just that acre. That’s just the bottom line – you can say all you want to say – that’s one acre this year, but moving forward understanding what we’re spraying – understanding the timing of what we’re spraying – that can be replicated. Period.”
Now that they have the basic formula down, they will continue to tweak the program “It’s a work in progress, and you gotta keep doing it,” said Baucom. “Humi-Till is a great example we are going to tweak next year. We didn’t have that product on these soybeans… we will next year. I feel like Agrihance will go out twice next year,” he added. “There were some windows with the program that it could have gone out here or it could have gone out there – and the answer was: it goes out both places and we’ll have paid for it. More than paid for it! So yeah, there’s definitely a program that we’ll stick to and tweak each and every year.” Tweaking the process with a goal of even higher yields and ultimately the state record! For more information, contact your Monty’s representative or call 1-800-978-6342.