Profit and Soybean Variety Selection
Sep 01, 2016
Many of you, including me, have been attending plot tours and starting to think about which soybean varieties to pick for 2017. Soybean variety selection is the earliest routine management decision you make and one of the most important.
Trials in the region show a yield difference of 15 bu/ac among varieties; even half this difference equates to a revenue difference of about $65 per acre. Remember an $8 price per unit difference between varieties could quickly be covered by the potential yield advantage. So, selecting the right variety is critical to improving profits in 2017.
Go ahead and capture these early seed discounts and here is why. Companies have internal data showing the average performance difference among their products during previous years, including new varieties. They do consider such performance in regional placement and they do share this information through local recommendations. Ask your dealer if the supply for some recommended varieties are a little tighter than others and consider booking those if they sound like a good choice for your farm. Then, once 2016 yield data is available, evaluate the varieties you ordered and see if you want to make a substitution. Your seed dealer can make substitutions assuming seed supplies exist.
It's your call on how many seed dealers you want to work with, but don’t put all your money on one variety! Choose a manageable number of varieties that also address the following 3 issues:
- First, look for a proven yield record. Use your farm, third-party and company data. Reference multiple years and multiple locations if possible. However, don’t be afraid to compare a new variety up against the tried-and-true variety on some limited acres. Collect your own data for next year!
- Second, matchup traits on a field-by-field basis. If you have a field with a history of SDS, lodging, resistant weeds, or other agronomic issues best managed through variety selection, consider this along with yield performance of varieties within trials, especially if a trial did not have these same limitations.
- Third, use a range of maturities. Plant varieties ranging from 2.4 to 3.4 in this area (East Central Nebraska). Short heat waves and dry periods for one or two weeks during August may impact the fuller season variety more or less than the shorter season variety, depending when the stress occurs.
So don’t take soybean variety selection and placement lightly on your farm, or your pocket book could be lighter too. If you have time, watch this short Market Journal segment on selecting soybean seed too. Know your crop, know your tech, know your bottom line at croptechcafe.org