03 Jul Alert to Growers of Seed Beans or Non-GMO Soybeans
Managing Calcium Improves Soybean Yield
Dan Davidson, Agronomist PhD, CPAg, CCA
With soybean prices trending downward and concerns of tariffs being charged on U.S. soybean exports, specialty premiums can help to make up for the loss in income based on commodity beans price. If you are growing specialty soybeans, you want to get every bushel out of every acre! Jumpstart performance and take yield to the next level with Fortalis®, if you grow:
- Seed beans with the newest traits and highest possible genetic yield potential.
- Non-GM (genetically modified) soybeans or high oleic or specialty oil and protein beans to capture a market premium but worry a bit about yield drag.
If you grow specialty beans, make sure to maximize yield per acre. One concern about growing specialty types is potential yield drag because seed companies don’t invest as much in breeding to keep yield potentials on par with conventional beans. Though a small yield loss is often offset by the gain in value per bushel.
But why give up or lose yield at all? If you grow specialty beans, including seed beans, you should be applying the same high-yield production practices as your conventional beans.
First – always practice good agronomy by planting early, using treated seed, deciding on the right effective weed management plan, selecting the right row spacing and population, and adding the right baseline fertility and liming program to optimize profitability.
Second – don’t forget that fungicides and insecticides protect the seed size and grain quality for which premiums are paid. Continue to scout your crop, identifying key problem weeds, pests and diseases. For diseases, apply a fungicide when the risk of infection is high. For insects, apply an insecticide when fields reach the economical threshold population.
For seed growers, producing high-quality seed is important for early planting, reduced seeding rates, and no-till, which all require high-quality, vigorous seed to obtain optimum stands and yields.
And food grade or specialty soybeans require blemish-free seed coats and are at the highest risk of economic losses from diseases like Phomopsis seed decay, fungus infection (Sclerotinia stem rot/white mold and downy mildew), and bean pod mottle and soybean mosaic virus, which reduce seed quality and cause discoloration.
Third – it’s important to provide the right inputs to maximize yield and ROI on those acres that deliver a premium per bushel. The key to soybean yield is always maximizing the number of pods produced on each plant and making the most of your fertility and plant protection program.
Adding Fortalis® to your soybean program assures you that you are giving your soybean plants the greatest opportunity to retain pods and produce high yield. Fortalis® remobilizes unavailable calcium in the plant, moving it to sites of flower and pod development, reducing the natural loss that occurs.
Most importantly, you want to maximize yield on these beans to maximize your yield on the most valuable price per bushel acreage on your farm. Protecting the maximum yield potential results in the 4Ms: More Pods, More Beans, More Yield, and More Return on Investment!
Dan Davidson is a PhD agronomist, part-time farmer and soybean expert from Nebraska who consults with soybean checkoff and industry on crop production, marketing, and product development projects.