Perspectives on Soybean Discovery Plots

Nov 15, 2023

Soybean harvest Oct 2023
Thoughts from Kevin Carlson, Agronomy Sales Manager:
“The drought had an impact on harvest results; some plots were under more stress than others (Gustafson’s in Osceola and the Wilhelm plot in Princeton in particular),” said Carlson. Yet, “our better [seed] products filtered towards the top in yields – Croplan 1522, NK14-W6E3, and NK11-A4E3, to name a few,” he said.
A key observation in this year’s plots was consistent performance, even under stress. “Consistency is important, and in a disease package it’s especially important,” Carlson said. Growers in this geography need seed with white mold tolerance and SCN resistance, for example. “The NK14-W6E3 variety is a Peking soybean,” he said.
One takeaway from this drought-then-wet growing season is to consider planting soybeans with different maturity levels. “Plant some acres with an earlier maturity to spread out harvest scheduling,” said Carlson. With year’s later bad/wet weather, for example, growers could have been harvesting the earlier beans before the snow and rain hit.
“But, with all fields at the same maturity level, the snow and poor drying conditions means beans are drying in the bin,” said Carlson. A combination of early and regular maturity varieties can help mitigate ill-timed weather events – and make for a more manageable harvest schedule.
Carlson noted that Group 0 beans will be ready to harvest 3-7 days earlier than full-season beans. Planting some Group 0 to mid-Group 1 soybeans can add flexibility at harvest time.
Outlook from Mike Slater, Agronomy Sales Rap, Isanti and Osceola
“The soybean varieties that have been around for a couple of years were performing toward the top, consistently,” said Slater, adding that the new varieties look promising.
“We got a little bit of everything” this year, with drought and late rain, variations in soils and topography, and more. “It’s not all flat, black, and square around here!” he said with a chuckle.
Slater noted it was good to see which seed varieties handled the drought stress. There wasn’t much disease pressure this year, “so we will have to reference back to past year’s plot results” to assess that aspect.
“One thing with soybeans is that it’s not all about what yields well,” he said. Soybeans are “finicky” and they need to be able to withstand disease pressure from the likes of while mold, brown stem rot, and SCN. (He made this observation while in the middle of taking fall soil samples to test for the presence of white mold and SCN.)
Federated has “a pretty darn impressive hybrid portfolio, especially considering what mother nature has been throwing at them – it’s impressive what they can handle,” he said.
Perspectives from Karson Schoening, Agronomy Sales Rep, Ogilvie
(Schoening offered perspectives on the soybean harvest overall, not specifically related to Discovery Plots.)
Soybean yields were better than originally expected. “Talking to farmers, on any of their better-than-marginal ground, they are seeing yields in the 50 to mid 60 bu./ac. range,” said Schoening, adding, “the rain at the beginning of August helped push the beans through.”
However, the late rains this fall – plus snow – have farmers “struggling with 15-17% moisture,” so they are drying beans in the bin and/or switching back and forth between corn and soybean harvest,” depending upon the weather and dry-down in the fields.
Soil sample results from fields already harvested are showing fields with a history of manure applications holding on to pretty high phosphorous and potassium levels. “That will cut down on the rates for DAP and potash applications,” he said. Those growers only need to do maintenance applications, just applying fertilizer to keep the numbers where they are after crop removal.
Schoening noted the value of grid soil sampling – taking samples across 2.5-acre grids – which gives a more precise reading on what nutrients are needed in what fields, and then applying fertilizer accordingly. The end result is “more consistent yields” due to more precise fertilization.
Good Data Yields Good Choices
Your Federated Agronomists are ready to discuss the Discovery Plot data along with your 2023 yield outcomes. Together, we can determine which seed products best fit your crop management plans for 2024.
Contact your local Federated rep soon, and place orders early to ensure product availability! Federated is already receiving bulk seed shipments for ’24.

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