Seed Decisions for 2019

Seed selection is probably the most important production decision you will make this fall.
As harvest is wrapping up across the state, preparations for next year’s crop have already started with fertilizer application, tillage and weed control occurring. Another part of planning for the coming crop is your seed selection. This decision may seem like an easy choice if selection is based solely upon yield or price and nothing else. But there is much more that goes into this decision.
With soybean yields ranging widely across the state this season, it is important to consider more than just yield and price when selecting varieties. This season proved that agronomic factors should be considered in the selection as grain quality, soybean lodging and harvestability were an issue. A quick list of considerations for variety selection can make the process easier and minimize the chance that any one specific issue will impact every acre.
Consider the following items when selecting soybean varieties:
  1. Herbicide trait package – Does it match weed control needs for the area?
  2. Disease resistance – Does it provide necessary resistance to or tolerance of problematic issues in the area both prior to and after emergence?
  3. Variety maturity – Does the assigned maturity fit your planned harvest schedule?
  4. Standability or height rating – Will the variety lodge under adverse conditions?
  5. Seed treatment -– What specific seed treatments are recommended or necessary for the variety to perform in the soils they will be planted into?
After answering these questions about a soybean variety, you can determine if it fits into your seed plan. Selecting the right variety is a matter of understanding its strengths and weaknesses and finding a fit on the right field or farm. Some varieties may not provide the right disease rating for a specific scenario but meet all other expectations. In these situations, understanding the risk for disease to limit yield potential should be considered.
Ultimately, variety performance is as good as the environment where it is grown. Selecting varieties based upon more than yield performance and price increases the number of products to choose from and improves overall product success. Planting multiple varieties across a range of maturities can minimize the risk that an environmental issue will negatively impact all varieties equally.  
Making decisions about seed is difficult with field activities occurring and the season winding down. Rely on your experience and information from a reputable seed representative to help understand products that best fit your area

Kelli Bassett
In South Central Illinois, Bassett and her family raise corn, soybeans, wheat and cattle. She is also a sales representative with Pioneer®. She has worked as an agronomist in Illinois with DuPont Pioneer and with University of Illinois as an Extension educator. Bassett serves on the Illinois CCA board and holds a B.S. and M.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in Crop Sciences. She enjoys working with growers to determine ways to improve crop productivity.



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