Soybean Learnings for 2019

Jan 01, 2019

Soybean Learnings for 2019
Jesse: “Thanks again Jason, I’m guessing these listens thought we weren’t going to talk about soybeans. THEY’RE WRONG!  We love soybeans.  We wanted to keep these separate.  A lot of times we spend more time on corn and I think we have to, because in this area corn is definitely our driving crop and the way we manage corn is so intense now at some level that I think it deserves more time.  However, I don’t want soybeans to be the forgotten crop.  They have a valuable role in crop rotation and why we plant them, and they can be fun to grow too, just not as fun to combine.  As we look at 2018 and what we’re going to apply in 2019, I think the biggest thing we need to remember is what happened in 2017. Do you remember, Jason, what happened to soybeans in 2017?”
Jason: “Vividly, it’s burned into my memory. So, the story of beans in 2017 was White Mold.  There was a number of different factors that lead to it, 3 things:
  1. Environmental factors
  2. We went back into fields that had white mold in 2015
  3. Variety
    1. We happen to be planting a lot of Xtend beans for the first time and they may not have had the white mold tolerance that we thought”
It’s good to note that 2 years ago we didn’t have the germination background that we do today.  Think about how we manage white mold, the first thing is choosing the variety.  If you’re going into fields that had white mold two years ago, the most important thing to do is choose a variety that has a tolerance for white mold.  How long is that white mold going to live in the field?”
Jesse: “8-10 years”
Jason: “We got a lot of questions last year asking if they could rotate out of it.  Well you can, but you’re going to be planting corn for a decade.  So, chances are you can’t rotate out of it.  So, the same problems spots you had last year will be problems spots this year.  But it depends on weather patterns.  Our Junes are warm and wet and august are trending to more wet and warm weather.”
Jesse: “So, from a management strategy, the biggest thing is to:
  1. Know which field you had white mold in past
  2. Choose variety that has a tolerance for white mold
    1. Attack problems with the largest concern
  3. Population
    1. Maybe look at variable rate script
    2. Maybe back down planting population in those areas that had white mold
      1. Need to change by about 30,000 plants/acre”
Jason: “Just remember you’re not doing a whole field with less population, you’re doing pockets. In 2017 map, we could go back and use an in-season image to help you determine where those pockets were. So, say you have 120,000 plants and have a 35% hail loss you’re still down to 90,000 plants and at that number you can be confident of a good yield, although you may not maximize it.  But if you had 150,000 plants and had white mold you’re going to lose more yield form that than the potential hail storm.”
Jesse: “It’s hard to get over, but if you can get yourself to understand that white mold is the problem, it’s not a potential hail storm.  If you can get over that, variable rate seed is much simpler.  I’ve also been getting questions on maturity.  The trend has been earlier and earlier, so we can combine them earlier, so they can combine corn, which is more fun.  But the data shows that maybe earlier beans isn’t the way to go.”
Jason: “So there’s some beans that, like 14-35, where those came into the market in 2014 and we planted them in 2015 and those beans looked really good and yielded with a lot of the 2.0.  We look back at the last 5 years, 3 out of the 5 years there was a significant increase in using a 2.0 beans versus a mid-maturity, about 3 bushels per acre.  This year we didn’t see that separation.  1.8-1.9 was the sweet spot, once we got later than that, the yield decreased.  When we tie early planting date and maturity, early planted beans reached V1 faster and they also reached R1 faster. That means they are going to lengthen that seed fill period.  We can try to do lots of things for soybeans for yield and not get a response, they are a finicky crop.  Studies have shown if you length that seed fill period, you’ll get a bushel increase.”
Jesse: “So are you ready to go to bananas?  You’re talking about extending that grain fill period.  I eat a banana every day for breakfast and basically have a week to eat those before they are too brown, too ripe and they taste too much like a banana. So, when we talk about extending that grain fill period the other thing to do besides earlier maturity is using a fungicide.  As a banana ripens it gives off ethaline gas, that’s what ripens the banana.  Soybeans do the same thing, so if we can protect that or slow it down by adding a fungicide or a plant health product, maybe it will allow us to get that rain in 2-4 days instead of needing it now to retain those pods. When the beans are in vegetative state they are just growing, once we turn into a reproductive state (R1) we need to do everything we can to not hurt yield.  Fungicide is an important plant health product for soybeans
Jason: “The thing about fungicide is every year it has been consistent.  It’s not an exciting response, 3-5 bushels.  Sometimes you see 8-10, but that’s an outlier.  The push back is the soybeans are greener longer, but that’s what is making more pods, filling that seed out more which helps create more beans that are heavier and denser beans.  To me I think about 3-5 bushels, how easy do you see that in a field without having a wagon. You don’t always see it.  A fungicide on soybeans isn’t about a homerun, it’s a double, but it’s all about piecing together doubles and singles and triples and stealing bases to help you be more profitable.”
Jesse: “I think that’s the key learning right there for how to apply this for 2019.  It’s about getting all the opportunities right. The last thing on beans is herbicides.  There are multiple platforms out there, Xtend, Roundup Ready 2, and Liberty.  Those are the biggest three that we’re components of. Can you touch a little bit on the genetics; where we are at today. Xtend vs Liberty. What are you potentially giving up?”
Jason: “There’s always different ways of slicing data.  In answer plots we do a lot of tests on Liberty, Xtend, and Roundup Ready.  I can make a case that Liberty and Xtend have the yield same, but I can also make a case that the Xtend pool is deeper.  Monsanto/Bayer’s breeding program stopped breeding with the Roundup Ready 2 beans 2 years ago already. Green leaf has using Xtend as their lead platform for traits for the last 4 years now.  The newest genetics are coming in this Xtend platform.  The common Liberty varieties are older genetics.  We can place those Liberty products well on your farm, but we can do the same with Xtend. If you’re on the fence about Liberty versus Xtend, it’s really like basketball versus football. Say you’re Jesse Wiant, growing up in river falls, and there are 5 really good athletes, 5 Rockstar studs.  If you have 5 studs would you have a better basketball or football team?”
Jesse: “I would say basketball.”
Jason: “Absolutely, the way I think about it.  The depth in Liberty is much shallower.  There are 3-4 that we know would work well on the farm.  We have some good options, just not as many.  If we flip it to Xtend, there are 8 bulk tanks at UFC.  We can plant those on any acre.  The depth is much deeper.  It’s about what is best for your farm.  The X9 is 4 times better than X8 class.  We want to look at what are we going to plant in 2020.  In 2020 we should have Xtend flex, which is a three-way stack of Xtend, glyphosate tolerance, and Liberty.”
Jesse: “To sum up what you said, there are options.  There is not a one size fits all for every grower
  1. Know your field
  2. Know your potential yield drags
Knowing that, going into the year, is key so that you can pick your varieties and put it on the right acre and that’s the key thing for corn or beans.  The more intensely we manage is the only way we’ll be able to make it through these tough times.”
Jason: “I would say as your looking at verities for next year, ask your UFC Field Sales Agronomist how that variety performed in plots that had white mold.”
Jesse: “Well that was fun Jason, it was nice to go through what we learned in 2018.  Like with the corn talk we didn’t want this to be strictly review, we wanted to show how what we learned could be used for 2019.”

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