Image courtesy United Soybean Board
There are a number of factors that need to be considered when selecting a seed variety, and it’s no easy task for growers these days. Below are some considerations for seed selection, for soybeans and for corn.
- When selecting soybean seed for the upcoming planting season, the first factor to take into account is the maturity rating of the soybean you’re selecting. Selecting a seed variety that’s well suited to your geography enables the crop to move through its lifecycle efficiently in a way that best matches its environment. Selecting the correct maturity rating allows the crop to take full advantage of the growing season in your area and helps maximize your yield potential.
A bean with too early of a maturity rating for your geography can leave yield potential on the table by not taking advantage of the additional growing days. On the other hand, if you select a variety with too late of a maturity rating for your geography, you risk the beans not reaching physiological maturity before the frost. Knowing how a variety will work within your specific geographic conditions help strike a balance that will aid in procuring the highest potential yield for your crop.
- Yield performance, what a specific variety is capable of producing in your geography, is also an important consideration when selecting seed. Advances in plant breeding and the genetics in available varieties are continually improving and pushing the yield potential higher and higher. As a grower, you should be trying to select varieties that are the best available, based on the maturity rating for their region as well as some of the following important factors.
- Disease and pest tolerance is another critical consideration for maximizing yield. Diseases like white mold, sudden death syndrome (SDS) and soybean cyst nematode (SCN) can be better managed by selecting varieties with tolerance to such diseases.
- It is also important to consider the potential for iron deficiency chlorosis (IDC) in your geography as you are selecting your seed. IDC can be a crippling situation, when growing soybeans in soils prone to IDC. Selecting a bean variety that performs better in IDC-prone soils can help tremendously on those affected acres.
- A more recent, but very important determining factor in bean selection is the growing pressure of resistant weeds. If you have encountered weed-resistance problems personally or even if weed resistance is a problem in your area, you may want to consider the new traits available for soybean varieties. Over the last year, the industry has seen the emergence of 2, 4-D and dicamba tolerant traits. These traits offer the ability to apply a new class of herbicide chemistry to soybeans allowing growers to battle back against current weed resistance problems. The new herbicide chemistries are currently being approved or in the process of being approved by the EPA to be applied over the top of the new trait soybeans. The new soybean traits have the most advanced genetics package and have been reported in many cases to produce impressive yields across several maturity groups.
Corn hybrid selection comes with similar, but a slightly separate set of challenges.
- When selecting a corn hybrid, it is also important to consider the maturity rating of the hybrid for your growing region. You need to ask yourself if the specific hybrid that you are considering fits into your region’s maturity rating.Selecting a hybrid that fits into the growing degree days and maturity rating for your geography allows you to take advantage of the longest growing season to maximize your hybrid’s yield potential. Similar to soybeans, by selecting a hybrid with an earlier maturity means that you aren’t able to capitalize on all the potential growing days and might miss out on a higher yielding crop. Selecting too late of a maturity rating risks the chance of your crop not reaching physiological maturity before the first frost in your area.
- Corn yields in the United States have been consistently increasing around two bushels per year, so you should always be seeking out and selecting hybrids that will help you achieve the best yield potential for your region. This is an important factor to revisit with new genetic packages available each year.
- To help your crop perform to its best potential, you should consider disease and insect pressures in your area when making hybrid selections, including the potential for stalk rot, Northern Corn Leaf Blight, or Goss’s Wilt. By selecting a hybrid with tolerances to the diseases and insects that are the most prevalent in your geographic area, you will help your crop reach its maximum yield.
- A fourth factor when considering corn hybrid selection is the standability of the hybrid. A hybrid’s ability to withstand lodging at your desired plant population is critical to achieving high yields.
As a grower, you work hard caring for your crop throughout the growing season. Make sure you maximize your yield and profit potential by keeping these considerations in mind as you make your selections for the upcoming season.
Original Source: Leaders of In-Furrow Technology, West Central