This is Nathan Mueller, University of Nebraska Extension Educator for Cropping Systems, in Fremont, NE. Soybean variety selection is the earliest routine management decision for your soybean crop and many agronomist feel one of the most important. Third party trials in the region show a 15 bu/ac performance difference between varieties on the market, even half of this difference equates to a $75/ac. Even though the combines have not started rolling yet, go ahead and capture those early seed discounts and here is why.
Seed companies have internal data showing the average performance difference between their products during previous seasons, even new varieties. They probably won’t tell you many bushels better one variety yielded over another on average, but they do share this through variety recommendations in your region. Ask them if the supply for some varieties they recommend are a little tighter than others and consider booking those if they sound like a good choice for your farm. Again, select several varieties with your dealer that appear to best to fit your production style and farm ground. Then, once 2014 yield data is available from third party and company trials, evaluate the varieties you ordered and see if you want to make a substitution. Your seed dealer will do this for you.
There are some other important considerations besides just yield reported in a trial since not all fields have the same yield limiting factors. If you have a field with a history of SDS, SCN, or other agronomic issue best managed through variety selection, weigh this out with yield performance of varieties within trials, especially if the trial did not have these limitations. Diversify your lineup and spread out your maturity to avoid short heat waves and dry periods within August to minimize impacting all of your acres. Watch Market Journal this weekend on NET or visit MJ online learn more about soybean variety selection.
This is Nathan Mueller, UNL Extension Educator for Cropping Systems in Fremont, NE.