Selecting the right soybean variety, trait package and seed treatment for your farming and field conditions can be a bit confusing--there are so many choices available now. Of course you want to select a high yielding variety, but you also want a bean variety that has the disease resistance to the pathogens present in your field.
"It depends on the specific challenges your growing conditions create, as to what seed selection choices you need to make," says Matt Hubsch, agronomist for Legend Seeds. "You need to consider a number of factors when deciding which soybean varieties to purchase and plant in your fields in 2012."
Of course, everyone looks for varieties that yield high, and yield is important. He outlines the following "shopping list" of other specific items growers should consider when selecting their 2012 soybean varieties.
1. Consider brown stem rot resistance when planting bean-on-bean acres. It's best to avoid planting beans-after-beans. It's better to rotate soybeans with corn. However, sometimes farmers are forced into a situation where they have to plant beans in the same field where beans grew the year before.
Whether it's excessively wet weather at planting time that derails your planting plans, or just the way your fields work out, if you're planting a bean-on-bean rotation, brown stem rot disease can become an issue. Brown stem rot is a fungus that can thrive and live in soybean residue for up to 10 months, so selecting soybean varieties that are resistant to brown stem rot becomes important when planting in this situation.
2. If it's a wetter than normal planting season, look for new phytophthora root rot resistant gene. Due to the wetter than normal growing seasons in recent years, many soybean growers have experienced phytophthora root rot--a disease which is more prone to showing up in wet conditions. This fungus thrives during wet years because it actually needs to swim in order to infect its host.
If you've had this issue in the past and are looking to avoid this disease in the 2012 growing season, consider two factors when selecting a soybean variety: First, select a soybean variety that has a high "natural field tolerance" to fend off phytophthora; Second, look for the new gene, Rps 3a, developed to increase the soybean plant's phytophthora resistance, by picking up race 25 phytophthora root rot, along with races 3 and 4 of this disease.
In the past, this was the job of the Rps 1k gene. However due to an increase of other races of phytophthora, this new gene was developed to increase a soybean plant's resistance to encompass more races than Rps 1k.
3. Depending on your geography consider iron chlorosis tolerance. When soil pH is high, soybeans can be at risk for iron chlorosis. Due to the fact that there are certain negative components that are more prevalent in high pH soil...such as soluble salts! In areas of the upper midwest region that have experienced wetter than normal conditions, we're seeing an increase in soluble salts and consequently iron chlorosis issues in soybeans. To combat iron chlorosis, growers need to select tolerant soybean varieties. Varieties are rated to indicate their tolerance to iron chlorosis.
4. You don't give up yield potential when selecting soybean cyst nematode resistant varieties. For some growers, soybean cyst nematodes are old news. For other soybean growers, this tiny wormlike pest that chews on soybean roots is a new issue. Either way, SCN is a pest to consider when selecting soybean varieties. When soybean cyst nematode resistant varieties first became available a number of years ago, growers experienced "yield drag" in order to get protection from SCN. This is no longer the case! Today there is no yield drag, only yield protection when selecting soybean cyst nematode resistant soybean varieties.
5. In dryer areas, consider taller stature soybean varieties. For growers on the western edge of soybean producing areas, where drought can often become an issue, consider varieties with the capability to pod higher off the ground. This increases harvestability, even in drought conditions, when the plants don't grow as tall.
6. Contact your local Legend Seeds dealer for more information.
"When it comes to selecting the right soybean variety, don't hesitate to consult with your local Legend Seeds dealer," says Hubsch. "The seed dealer will be able to help you make the right decision." To find a dealer near you call 800-678-3346.