There are certainly unknowns and risks that come with planting bin-run soybean seed versus certified seed, but one significant piece of information has been confirmed by crop insurance data in Manitoba: older, off-patent varieties don’t have the same yield potential as newer varieties.
As Dennis Lange, pulse specialist with Manitoba Agriculture, points out in this Soybean School episode, it’s “buyer beware” when it comes to purchasing bin-run soybean seed, with few — if any — guarantees on maturity, germination rates, seed quality/damage, variety purity, and even variety type. And that’s without getting into the potential legal ramifications of buying and planting bin-run seed.
With the Canadian patent on the first Roundup Ready trait ending in 2011, we now have several years’ worth of publicly-available yield data from crop insurance for analyzing performance of bin-run varieties.
Comparing bin-run varieties to the most popular Roundup Ready 2 varieties grown in Manitoba over multiple years, Lange says bin-run yields are around five bushels an acre lower.
“This is what farmers are growing and this is what farmers are reporting to crop insurance on their harvested production reports,” he notes. “That’s on average over the last few years.”
Lange highlights the things to know and consider when sourcing soybean seed, and discusses what we should expect for soybean acres on the eastern side of the prairies in 2018:
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