Agronomy: Soybeans Faced Challenges in 2015

Soybean harvest is done for 2015!

It was a challenging year for soybeans: too wet early, dry later in the summer, little or no rain during grain fill and then soybeans seemed to mature too quickly with such a warm fall. Some growers would say they are glad this year is over!

Picking and choosing varieties in my area will be tough next year. The Group 3 soybeans outyielded the Group 2 soybeans and ripened almost at the same time. I believe it was because of the hot, dry September that we experienced.

I believe many growers would share these sentiments based on what they experienced this season. I would recommend planting the same mix of varieties between Group 2 and Group 3 to spread out your risk of whether August rains will fall and extend the harvest window.

I also would suggest planting the highest-yielding varieties that have a combination of strong emergence scores and soybean cyst nematode resistance. Along the same line of spreading risk, use a high-quality seed treatment and varieties that have a Phytophthora-resistant gene, along with Phytophthora field tolerance. Most seed companies do a good job of classifying these traits by varieties.

Next year we should have varieties with two more chemical-resistant traits to help control weeds that are resistant to glyphosate herbicide. Hopefully, their yield potential is up to par with other Roundup Ready® varieties. We can’t forget that when Roundup Ready soybeans were first introduced nearly 20 years ago, superior weed control came with yield drag. Today that wouldn’t be acceptable.

Take some time this winter to reflect on what you did right and wrong with your soybeans in 2015 and make sure you do all the right things in 2016.

Bill Orr is the owner of Agronomic Insights and has been in the seed and fertilizer business for over 29 years. He also currently farms with his family in Reddick, Ill. He believes that his experience helps him better understand the challenges that farmers face and is looking forward to sharing that experience as a Soy CCA Envoy.

Bill Orr



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