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Derek's Notes



Criteria for selecting soybean varieties

This weeks blog is brought to you by Dwight Willoughby, CCSC, P.Ag

Yield potential

  1. Maturity
  2. Pest resistance

Yield Potential

  • Most soybean varieties have genetic yield potentials well over 100 bu/A
  • The best measure of variety performance is a multi-location average and consistently high performance.
    • When a set of varieties is tested for yield over a range of environments, their rank order commonly changes, which indicates that some varieties are better adapted to a specific environment than others.
    • Sometimes it is best to select varieties with characteristics that will help them perform well in the cultural system and environment to be used rather than on yield alone.
    • For example, if the field has a history of phytophthora, then select resistant or highly tolerant varieties to address that problem.

Maturity

Yield reflects a variety’s ability to grow under a set of field conditions, having noted that, maturity is nearly as important criterion in selecting a variety.  If a variety is too early or too late at a location, it will be limited in potential performance.

Generally, each 10-day delay of planting in May delays maturity 3 to 5 days in the fall. 

Maturity windows should be used to select varieties that mature at different times to allow for timely harvest in the fall.  As acres of soybeans increase it is our observation farmers are trending to blend a 60/40 split of full season to mid season maturity.

The earliest and latest varieties within a 00 group may differ by as much as two weeks in maturity.

Pioneer’s P006T46 and P005T13 fit this mid season balance of yield and timely harvest.

Maturity is noted as when 95% of the pods have turned brown.  This is not harvest maturity, but is the time when seeds are physiologically mature.  The benefit of a mid season variety vs. a full season this past year allowed harvest to start as much as 5 to 7 days sooner.

Branching versus single main stem varieties

  • Soybean varieties range in growth habits which can be benefit to farms that seed narrow to wide rows.
  • The range is from highly branching types to thin-line types which produce a single, main stem.
  • Row width and plant population may alter the growth habit of soybeans enough to somewhat change the degree of branching.
  • Branching may be beneficial under lodging conditions of if hail is a risk.

Pioneer’s Ranking

Full season varieties

Branchy Variety – P008T70R

Single Stem Variety – P008T22R2

Mid Season Varieties

Single Stem – P006T46R / P005T13R

 

 

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