Soybean School: Lessons from the 2020 growing season

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Whether you’re an experienced soybean grower, or are looking to get into this interesting leguminous oilseed crop, there’s always something to learn.

In this episode of Soybean School, we take a look back at the past year’s soybean season in Manitoba — what went right, what went wrong, and what kind of knowledge we gleaned from it.

“Province-wide the soybean crop in 2020, when we look back, I think we can call it a successful year,” says Daryl Domitruk, executive director of Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers. “We had reasonable yields, especially compared to 2019, and then those yields have been built upon an uptick in the market.”

The weather in Manitoba, although a bit dry, was favourable for a lack of disease development. Diseases typically of concern with soybeans — phytophthora, for example — didn’t seem to materialize, and the lack of precipitation contributed to that.

Rainfall was low, with soybean growing areas receiving only 65 to 85 per cent of their normal growing season precipitation, but there was good soil moisture in storage going into spring, that crops used to their advantage.

“The environment just wasn’t conducive to a lot of foliar disease development and those root diseases stayed at bay,” says Domitruk.

Even though insects might not have been a huge concern this past year, Domitruk advises growers to look for seed corn maggot, cutworm, and wireworm at seedling stage next year. “Those are the things that can set a crop back early on, and soybeans may not be able to compensate like some other crops,” says Domitruk.

Watch the full video for Domitruk’s advice for newer soybean growers and reminders for crop rotation and iron deficiency chlorosis (IDC):

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