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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Using Soybeans as an Alternate Forage Dr. Mike Hutjens Dairy Extension SpecialistDr. Mike Hutjens Dairy Extension.

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Presentation on theme: "University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Using Soybeans as an Alternate Forage Dr. Mike Hutjens Dairy Extension SpecialistDr. Mike Hutjens Dairy Extension."— Presentation transcript:

1 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Using Soybeans as an Alternate Forage Dr. Mike Hutjens Dairy Extension SpecialistDr. Mike Hutjens Dairy Extension Specialist University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Jim Baltz Instructional Design Specialist

2 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Learning Objectives After viewing this module you should be able to:After viewing this module you should be able to: –Identify the stages of soybean growth –Describe the key factors in harvesting soybeans as a silage –Evaluate the economics of using soybeans as a forage

3 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Stages of Soybean Growth Growth staging: A growth stage for a field begins when at least 50% of the plants have reached or are beyond a certain stage and stages may overlap.Growth staging: A growth stage for a field begins when at least 50% of the plants have reached or are beyond a certain stage and stages may overlap. –Vegetative stages –Reproductive stages

4 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Soybean Parts Unifoliate Leaf Trifoliate Leaf Cotyledons Growing Point

5 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Reproductive Stages (WI and NC) R1: Beginning bloomR1: Beginning bloom R2: Full bloomR2: Full bloom R3: Beginning pod developmentR3: Beginning pod development R4: Full podR4: Full pod R5: Beginning seedR5: Beginning seed R6: Full seedR6: Full seed R7: Beginning maturityR7: Beginning maturity R8: Full MaturityR8: Full Maturity

6 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Stage Abbreviation Stage Title Average Number of Days R1-R2 to R3Begin bloom to begin pod10 R3 to R4Begin pod to full pod9 R4 to R5Full pod to begin seed9 R5 to R6Begin seed to full seed15 R6 to R7Full seed to begin maturity18 R7 to R8Begin maturity to full maturity9 Average number of days for each reproductive stage adapted from Soybean Loss Instructions, National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS) #6302 Soybeans,91

7 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Harvesting Soybean Silage Harvest soybeans at R3 stage, when one of the four top nodes with a fully-developed leaf has a 3/16-inch-long pod.Harvest soybeans at R3 stage, when one of the four top nodes with a fully-developed leaf has a 3/16-inch-long pod. Wilt forage to 35% to 45% dry matter before ensiling depending on storage unit.Wilt forage to 35% to 45% dry matter before ensiling depending on storage unit. Chop at 3/8-inch theoretical length of cut (TLC).Chop at 3/8-inch theoretical length of cut (TLC). Add an inoculant (similar to an effective alfalfa/legume inoculant)Add an inoculant (similar to an effective alfalfa/legume inoculant) Yields in drought year 1 to 2 tons/acreYields in drought year 1 to 2 tons/acre Soybean Silage by Dan Undersander, Kevin Jarvik, Tom Anderson, Nick Schneider, and Lee Milligan

8 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Yield and quality of soybean forage as affected by harvest maturity Modified from Soybeans for Hay or Silage by Dr. Dan Undersander

9 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Forage quality of soybean silage not mixed with other crops Soybean Silage by Dan Undersander, Kevin Jarvik, Tom Anderson, Nick Schneider, and Lee Milligan

10 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Soybean Hay Harvested at R3 - when one of the top four nodes with a fully developed leaf has a 3/16-inch long pod.Harvested at R3 - when one of the top four nodes with a fully developed leaf has a 3/16-inch long pod. Limit leaf loss by limiting number of times it’s mechanically handledLimit leaf loss by limiting number of times it’s mechanically handled Dries slow (may require 2 to 3 days)Dries slow (may require 2 to 3 days) Raking can lead to significant leaf lossRaking can lead to significant leaf loss

11 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Cautions before using soybeans as a forage Check what herbicides and insecticides were used to ensure no restrictionsCheck what herbicides and insecticides were used to ensure no restrictions Contact a crop insurance agent before harvesting for forageContact a crop insurance agent before harvesting for forage

12 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Economics of harvesting soybeans As forage, assume 1 ½ tons of dry matter per acre valued at $200 a ton or $300 per acre.As forage, assume 1 ½ tons of dry matter per acre valued at $200 a ton or $300 per acre. As seed, $300 per acre / $15 per bushel, less than 20 bushels may be the break pointAs seed, $300 per acre / $15 per bushel, less than 20 bushels may be the break point No harvesting charges were included with the soybean seedNo harvesting charges were included with the soybean seed

13 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign In Summary Soybean forage may an alternative forage for dairy and beef cattleSoybean forage may an alternative forage for dairy and beef cattle Consider economics of each alternativeConsider economics of each alternative Be aware of residue risks and treatmentsBe aware of residue risks and treatments Soybean forage will be similar to other legume forages, but not as palatableSoybean forage will be similar to other legume forages, but not as palatable

14 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Check out our online dairy courses at and Illini DairyNET at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Dr. Mike Hutjens Dairy Extension Specialist Jim Baltz Instructional Design Specialist


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