Farm Horizons, February 2017

More soybean acres in 2017?

By Dave Schwartz
Certified crop advisor, Gold Country Seed

Some growers are planning to increase their soybeans acres in 2017, because they feel soybeans may be more profitable next fall. With the current price scenario, this may be true.

For some growers, this will mean two years of continuous soybeans, rather than rotating the land to corn.

Crop rotation, on average, increases grain yield around 7 to 10 percent. In stressful years, continuous corn yields may be reduced as much as 30 percent or as little as zero if the growing season is favorable.

By rotating crops on land from year to year, we see less insect and disease pressure. When soybeans are grown in back-to-back years, soybean cyst nematode counts increase. Diseases such as phytophthora root rot and brown stem rot are also more likely to appear.

When growing soybeans in back-to-back years, it’s a good idea to use a seed treatment, select a soybean variety that has a good disease package, and select different genetics than what was planted the past year. This should help minimize disease pressure.

If the field has had a history of broadleaf weed pressure, growers may want to try the new Roundup Ready 2 Extend soybeans that are stacked with tolerance to Glyphosate and Dicamba. This should be a good one-two punch for controlling grass and broadleaf weeds. The formulation is designed to minimize volatilization of Dicamba.

One final note – fields were unusually wet this fall, so we could easily see more issues related to soil compaction in the 2017 growing season.

One disease that often is associated with soil compaction is phytophthora root rot, so consider selecting soybean lines that have a good package for controlling this disease.

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