2016 presented me with an opportunity to plan some soybean trials. The perfect location, perfect soil comparisons, and hopefully the time to do it properly.
Original plan was to run some simple variety plots of the 5 different varieties I had booked from several seed companies. When discussing my seeding plans with one seed rep, he was interested in our low seeding rate. We have usually aimed for 150,000 planting population on 30″ rows, which is significantly lower than most people recommend in Manitoba.
And just like that I had doubled my work to also do a population comparison between 145,000 and 180,000. While I expected the higher pop to yield more, the question to answer was did it yield enough to cover the extra seed cost.
The next thing that happened was when I mentioned to my seed suppliers what I was up to, the first thing they said was “Here are a few units of XYZ variety to add to your trials”
And just like that we had 16 Varieties from 6 different seed companies.
Plots were planted from May 19-22 in 30″ rows with a JD 1770NT planter using RTK on Trimble 1000 Autosteer. With every trial there was 2 lbs of Cell Tech granular inoculate applied in row with a planter mounted Valmar applicator.
And here are the results
Plots were combined in later October, and all varieties were well mature and moisture contents were comparable.
So what did we learn.
The winner was a variety I knew nothing about. Thank you to Munro Farm Supplies and Brett Young Seeds for supplying me with 4 units of each of their varieties.
Early maturing varieties yielded in the same range as long season varieties.
Higher population trials did not consistently yield more than lower populations. Was this because of not being suited for 30″, or different lodging characteristics, white mold susceptibility, or just dumb luck? With easy math, you need 1.5 bus of yield to break even on seeding an extra one quarter unit of seed per acre.
Most importantly we did learn that there isn’t that much difference in all the varieties in yield potential. They all yielded very well, but we all know it was an exceptional year for Soybeans. Lets hope 2017 is just as good.
Thank you to
Intel Seeds and Pioneer Canada
Jonair, Lake Manitoba Seed Company , and NorthStar Genetics
JL Agronomics and Thunder Seeds
Munro Farm Supply and Brett Young Seeds