Soybean fertility packages, big yields, and wimpy residue— a LIVE! Q & A with Horst Bohner


Beans. Soybeans, that is. On today’s LIVE our host Shaun Haney is joined by OMAFRA soybean specialist Horst Bohner. They talk soybean yields, genetics, fertility, crop rotations, and residue management.

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  • Record soybean yields? Some Ontario farmers are having their best year ever.
  • Prices are good, too.
  • Prior record was 53 bu/ac, final numbers for this year aren’t in yet. Bohner’s hearing some average numbers, but also 65 bu/ac or higher!
  • Cold spring, majority of the crop didn’t get planted in April
  • June and July was really hot, with the crop wilting in the afternoon
  • 4-inches of rain just disappeared into the ground, tiles didn’t run at all
  • Stress early on, pushes roots deep into the ground, early hot and dry summer, no white mould pressure, then the rains, and you’re all set.
  • Genetics? What’s changed enough to create such a lift in average yield. To be fair… no average number in yet, Bohner thinks low 50s
  • Shaun hit the nail on the head, new varieties have the capacity to get those high yields
  • Bohner has had some interesting trial results. Do some performance trials of you own, he suggests!
  • Fusarium wilt surprise, even when it was dry. Not much phomopsis. Bohner’s happy with the seed quality. Some white mould out there.
  • Spider mites were the real kicker, especially in this dry year.
  • Feels weird to talk about the 2021 crop: preparation?
  • What’s the advantage of fall tilling? A one-pass piece of equipment is a good compromise. You need to know your soil
  • The other big soybean discussion, other than genetics. Fertility. P, K, N, S, Mg, Z, Mn
  • Soil test. There’s a predictive tool that will tell you whether or not you’re going to get a response from extra fertilizer.
  • Measuring and understanding the probability is a key to knowing how to push that yield.
  • 40 actual P, 70 actual K for a 50 bushel crop, gets removed, and that needs to go on just as a replacement.
  • Feed the corn, but you also need to make sure there’s enough to feed the soybean too
  • Biological nitrogen fixation? Accounts for 60 to 80 per cent of the required nitrogen. Soybeans need that mineralized N that’s already available in the soil. If you put too much N, the soybean will get “lazy” and won’t fix N biologically anymore. 50 lb actual N is still safe to put down.
  • Putting down that N later in the season might be the trick to provide a boost.
  • Fall soil testing is good in Ontario. P and K won’t change that much throughout the next season. N is totally different
  • Dropping corn out a rotation? What? From a soil health perspective, switching to a longer rotation with more in it is better, except when you’re growing wheat and soybeans, short-term and if you don’t have a lot of soybean cyst nematodes or white mould.
  • Pg. 252 of the Agronomy Guide
  • Residue issues. Good problem to have but you still have to deal with it. Soybean residue is wimpy, it’ll breakdown pretty quick.

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