Soybean South

 - From the Editor -

By Carroll Smith

I was named after my grandfather, Carroll McLaurin, so, as a woman my first name is often misspelled. I have even received mail and e-mails throughout the years addressed to Mr. Carroll Smith since Carroll is generally regarded as the masculine spelling.

Although I am never offended, most people are proud of their names and consider them a part of their identities. However, a misspelling is one thing, but a misidentification is another matter altogether. I’m afraid that I am guilty of the latter.

In the February issue of Soybean South, Dr. Angela Thompson, the Tennessee soybean specialist was kind enough to share her expertise on southern soybean production with our readers. Unfortunately, she was identified as Dr. Amanda Thompson, which doesn’t even come close to being excused as a misspelling.

It was my mistake, and I would like to apologize for the error and set the record straight in print. Her name is Angela, not Amanda.

This month, Louisiana’s soybean specialist, Dr. David Lanclos, provides timely pre-season/early-season production tips as we get ready to kick off a new crop year. He is always conscientious about accuracy, and I hope that I was just as careful this time with my photo caption.

As we continue to uphold our mission of providing profitable production strategies, this issue primarily targets irrigation options and disease control strategies for southern producers.

On page 4, we offer comments on the different types of irrigation options, as well as recommendations for when to start watering early maturing and later-maturing varieties. An accompanying article on page 5 gives you a sneak peek at a new visual technique for determining when the last irrigation should be applied to achieve maximum yields.

Dr. Joe Henggeler wants to test his method one more year to make sure “we can say it (irrigation termination) photographically.” If so, farmers can use the flashcard-type guide that he and his staff are developing and “leave the calculator at home.”

In the soybean disease arena, Asian rust is once again on everyone’s mind, especially in the South, since some rust spores managed to survive the winter on the Florida peninsula, Mexico and in some locations on the Florida-Georgia border. Check out the latest update on pages 6 and 7.

Because Georgia farmers may be particularly vulnerable to the disease this year, the Cooperative Extension Service at the University of Georgia provides some points for those producers to consider as they prepare for the 2006 season.

Mississippi soybean specialist Alan Blaine notes that fungicide sprays were up last year as growers became more educated about the disease and the options available to prevent and control it.

He commends these producers for being on their toes and says this year everyone must continue “to be focused on what we are doing and why we are doing it.”

On the other hand, soybean rust is not the only disease that threatens our crop. Keeping an eye out for the others that have been around much longer should also be a priority, according to the article on page 8.

From the perspective of Mississippi producer Brian Byrd, who applied fungicide on a good many of his soybean acres last year, fungicides can provide additional benefits, including increased yields and improved quality. See what Byrd has to say on pages 12 and 13.

In addition to our irrigation and disease articles, we hope you enjoy our other editorial offerings and glean information that can help make your southern soybean operation more profitable. That, after all, is our ultimate mission here at Soybean South.