Soybean School: Exploring growth differences between Manitoba and Ontario

A University of Manitoba masters student has found the major difference between growing soybeans in Ontario versus Manitoba is how long it takes to flower.

“Soybean has traditionally been grown in Ontario, and as soybean acres expanded in Manitoba, we wanted to look at the difference in growth habit,” says Nate Ort, who caught up with RealAgriculture at Crops-a-Palooza at Carberry, Manitoba. “We grew soybean in Ottawa and Carman for five years in each, and then we just looked at the differences.”

Ort says the main difference the researchers found, was that flowering occurred much earlier in Ontario, likely largely due to temperature differences and differences in latitude.

“Soybeans are very sensitive to day length, and this can delay time to flowering,” says Ort, adding the difference of about 4 degrees in latitude equates to a difference of 50 minutes of daylight on the longest day of the year.

Heat units also differ between the two locations.

“Ontario starts accumulating more heat every day than us, and then in terms of crop heat units…Ontario can be over 3000 crop heat units accumulated, where [Manitoba] would be probably under 2600/2700 crop heat units.”

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