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

Episodes:

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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SUMMARY

  • 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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