As 2017 soybean planting gets rolling across Ontario, what management considerations should be top of mind for growers?
In our planting edition of Real Agriculture Soybean School, we put that question to Pride Seeds market development agronomist Dan Foster. In this episode, Foster explains why he’s excited to see Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans going in the ground; why growers should be maybe look at reducing (?!) planting population; and why it’s time to start feeding soybeans.
Growers will get their first opportunity to grow the dicamba-tolerant Xtend soybeans in 2017. The new technology will be very welcome this spring as growers face a robust weed crop, explains Foster, who offers some last minute stewardship advice for growers. With most seed companies offering new varieties carrying the technologies in their line-up, he’s keen to see how the genetics perform.
Another focus for Foster is seeding rate.
“I think we’re over-planting our soybeans,” he says. “It may sound strange coming from a seed guy, but I think we can drop our populations 10 percent at all levels.”
Foster is also recommending that growers take another look at wide-row soybeans. He believes it’s a good option in the southwest, especially with new planter technology. He does caution growers, however, that they need to avoid wide rows on clay ground. “I just worry that they won’t get big enough and close the canopy, especially if we get a dry summer.”
Foster also notes that there’s increasing evidence that growers really need to feed their soybeans. “Traditionally, we’ve said that we’ll fertilize the corn and wheat … and we’ll let the soybeans scavenge for what they need,” he explains. “But research shows that giving soybeans some phosphorus and potassium is something we have to do. We can’t get higher yields without feeding the crop.”
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