Soybean School: The future of soybean genetics for Western Canada

Throughout the growing season, you might be making mental notes of all the things you liked or didn’t like about your soybean crop. It’s never too early to be thinking about next year’s variety decisions.

In this episode of Soybean School, Allan Froese, product selection lead for Syngenta, joins Kelvin Heppner in the field to talk about existing soybean traits and new ones coming online for 2021.

Back in the late 2000s, RoundupReady 2 Yield was introduced resulting in “yield positive” results. “We ended up with more beans per pod and more pods per plant, and that technology is still in the marketplace today,” says Froese.

Then came RoundupReady 2 Xtend, adding a dicamba tolerance trait on top of the glyphosate tolerance trait found in the previous line-up of soybean varieties. The best fit for this product is to use a dicamba pre-emerge, which can give you the most bang for your buck lasting for fourteen or more days, says Froese.

One of the new technologies in the portfolio is Enlist E3, a glyphosate, 2,4-D, and Liberty tolerant soybean system. “The big selling feature for Enlist E3 tolerant beans is volunteer glyphosate tolerant canola, or any canola,” says Froese. With the Enlist platform, Froese recommends spraying the 2,4-D in-crop versus a pre-emergent herbicide. (Story continues below video)

Some of the other characteristics moving forward that soybean growers can look out for are soybean cyst nematode (SCN) tolerance. Soybean cyst nematode is a big yield-robber for areas of Ontario, Quebec, and neighbouring states, and it’s a growing concern in Manitoba.

Growers should be scouting regularly for SCN, even if small populations are present. Rotating to a non-host crop and soybean variety selection will assist with keeping those populations low, and in the future, new varieties may be available for SCN tolerance.

Phytophthora root rot pressure has been increasing, and the environmental conditions this growing season haven’t helped much. Froese predicts more phytophthora resistance will be included in newer varieties. Races 3, 4, 25, and 28 of phytophthora have been identified as the dominant ones in Manitoba. So it’s important to match the trait in the soybean with the trait it can protect against.

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