State soybean and small grains specialist at UM Madison, Dr. Shawn Conley, is a major source for an upcoming article in the United Soybean Board magazine that should be hitting your mailboxes soon. You can also read the article online here.
Dr. Conley reminds all growers that “variety selection is far and away the No. 1 decision a grower has to make” because seed selection has a direct effect on yield and also affects both crop value and customer demand.
As you think to the year ahead, Dr. Conley offers these 5 Questions to Ask Your Soybean Seed Supplier
- What yield data is available?
Ask for a diverse set of yield data. Compare how well the variety performed in your area last year and consider performance data across a variety of environmental conditions. Rapid genetic turnover coupled with weather variability makes it critical to select varieties that perform well across environments.
- What is the source and level of disease resistance?
Know your field history and ask about the level of resistance for key diseases. Be sure you understand the source of resistance for key diseases, such as soybean cyst nematode, as some traits are more effective than others.
- What seed treatment options are available?
Ask about seed treatments that can help protect varieties that may be susceptible to key pests and diseases.
- What herbicide-tolerance traits are available?
Talk about your weed pressures and herbicide-resistance issues you face to help determine the right herbicide tolerance traits to fit in your weed-management plan.
- What is the genetic source of the variety?
Ask if any other companies or brands are marketing the soybean genetics you’re considering to be sure you’re not planting too many acres with the same genetics. Diversify genetics helps spread your risk across your farm.
We’re fortunate to have Dr. Conley as a grower resource, professor and researcher here in Wisconsin. We congratulate him on his success.