Good looking irrigated 40-bu. soybeans in Nebraska, along with men in sharp hats, adorn this November 1954 cover.
Nebraska leads in soybean irrigation
Soybean expansion in Nebraska was just beginning but growing fast, producing 1.9 million bushels in 1952 and 3.9 million in 1954. Irrigated acres were also growing fast, by 100,000 acres per year in 1953 and 1954, totaling 1.3 million acres. Installation costs for a well and irrigation system were $50 or more per acre.
New products and services
Check out such news as Nitragin innoculants now dating cans for freshness; John Deere’s new rigid wheel-type disk harrow for depth control; and the “revolutionary” new Ferguson subsoiler that also helped lay flexible pipe and cable.
A profitable farm drying operation
These Illinois farmers saved money by using a new Behlen 358-bu. capacity dryer to dry late harvested soybeans before put into their four 3,250 bu. modern tile silos.
Response of beans to fertilizer
University of Illinois research show that while soybeans make a heavy demand on soil nutrients, they respond little to direct fertilization.
New record 63.6 bushels in Indiana
This record was the best in 15 years, where a son beat out his dad for first place using unique 24-in. rows, the Hawkeye variety and fertilized with 500 lbs. of 0-10-20. His four-way rotation was clover, alfalfa, corn and soybeans.
Final crop estimate 343 million bushels
This record soybean production was largely due to a 15% U.S. acreage increase in 1954, totalling 19.3 million acres (88% for grain, 12% for hay). Average yield grew slightly from 19.9 to 20.1 bu./acre (1953 to 1953).
Best adapted soybean varieties
Farmers may remember some of these classic soybean variety names across the Midwest and South.
Seed treatment of soybeans
Although seed treatments had been around for a decade, the seed industry had not endorsed or accepted them wholeheartedly. Experiment station data did show yield increases up to 3 to 6 bu./acre.
How to grow 60 bushels per acre
Even in 1955, farmers belived they could grow better yields than the experiment stations. This story talks about the importance of row width (use new Allis-Chalmers Model G tractor with 3-row soybean planter to get 18-20 in. rows). For fertilizer, apply a 1:1 ratio of phosphate and potash like 200 to 300 lbs. of 0-12-12 or 0-20-20 at planting. For weed control, use tillage before planting, then harrow or rotary hoe before emergence, then again after the beans are 4 in. tall.
51.3-bushel yield wins Iowa soybean contest
This Iowa farmer beat out two close neighbors using innoculated Hawkeye soybeans following corn and alfalfa. He applied manure before plowing, planted May 24 at seeding rate of 1.1 bu./acre in 38-in. rows. He cultivated three times, and hand-pulled weeds as needed.
April 1955 cover
Farmer using his spike-tooth harrow on emerged soybeans to uproot weeds, as herbicides were still toxic to soybeans.
Weeds: Let us spray
Cultural methods worked best in 1955 – including crop rotation, delayed planting (to till weeds prior to planting), and seeding beans on a rough prepared seedbed in a furrow. Herbicide use and effectiveness was questionable in soybeans due to cost and inconsistent results. Light rates of 2,4-D applied post were being tested.
1954 World crop hit new record
A 14% increase in global production occurred in 1954, totaling 742.8 million bushels, with the U.S. generating 80% of that increase due to production of 342.795 million bushels.
These comments by a VP of Central Soya outlined how producers carry the bulk of price risk on their 1954 crop. It discusses speculators, impact of Korean War, and a consumer group impact on meal.
Editor’s desk column
Editor Strayer discussed who should get access to CCC-held soybean stocks, a real need for increased basic agricultural research, and the new soybean grading standards that tightened foreign matter requirements.
How to cut disease losses
Disease resistant varieties, crop rotation and complete plowing under of the old crop provided the best insurance against soybean diseases.
New products and services
Check out these highlights: a new Case tiller-packer for a fine seedbed; a new Hesston straw chopper for Case and Minneapolis-Moline combines; the new large capacity Vac-U-Vator pneumatic grain handlers from Dunbar-Kapple; and the new circular steel grain bins from Kilby Steel, available in sizes from 515 to 3,315 bushels.
Cut losses, F.M.
The revised soybean grading standards of 1955 forced farmers to deliver fewer cracked or split beans, plus less FM, or get docked. This story discusses combine settings.
Special Editorial: Quality will pay
Editor Strayer discussed the value of clean soybeans, the new penalties being implemented, and how the soybean industry came together to continue necessary growth.
At the 35th annual American Soybean Association meeting in Cincinnati, these industry resolutions were agreed to: eliminate trade barriers; develop more export markets; send better quality beans to foreign buyers; eliminate the tariff on seed coming from Canada; urge buyers to offer premiums on No. 1 grade soybeans; increase federal, state and private research; and study the possible switch of selling by bushels to hundredweight basis.
The Farm Bureau looks at agricultural surpluses
The assistant secretary of AFBF addressed the six-times normal reserves of wheat, three-times normal reserve of cotton, over two-times corn reserves – all hanging over the market holding down prices. Soybean stocks were at 66.8 million bushels – almost twice the previous year of 35.6 million bushels. At harvest, the CCC had $7.2 billion invested in ag surpluses, or approximately 21% of the gross farm income in 1954.
Soybean production research
This story addresses how the “crops research men” are focused on reducing production costs: released five new varieties; developing disease resistance to frogeye and bacterial blights; examining net profit of yield by resistant varieties; examining chemical weed control compared to cultural practices; and more.
October 1955 issue cover
And finally, a harvest shot in the Mississippi Delta.