Discussing 2022 Soybean Performance and Looking Ahead to 2023

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Photo courtesy of Syngenta/Golden Harvest

Jesse Allen is joined by Ryan Dunsbergen of Golden Harvest as they recap soybean performance in 2022 and look ahead to 2023. Dunsbergen shares some agronomic recommendations and more as we start to make decisions for 2023’s growing season.

You can also read more from Golden Harvest on this topic below:

New soybean performance data and agronomic recommendations help farmers maximize 2023 yield potential

Golden Harvest agronomists provide tips to manage Sudden Death Syndrome and soil nutrients

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill., USA, Dec. 14, 2022 ― Golden Harvest today released new soybean variety performance data and agronomic management recommendations to help farmers make plans to increase soybean yield potential next year. Farmers can set the stage for a productive 2023 soybean growing season by selecting elite soybean genetics, implementing soybean disease management practices and considering key nutrients in their crop fertility plans.

Select soybean varieties with high yield potential and weed management in mind

Soybean crop management has increased in complexity in recent years. Farmers not only need to select soybean varieties with high yield potential, but also consider each variety’s trait platform and agronomics. Golden Harvest® Gold Series soybeans set a new standard for performance and yield potential with elite genetics in high-demand trait platforms, including Enlist E3® soybeans and XtendFlex® soybeans.

In 2022, farmers saw success with Golden Harvest soybean varieties across the Midwest1:

  • Golden Harvest soybean GH2102XF brand outyielded Asgrow® soybeans by 2.9 bu/A in 480 comparisons.
  • Golden Harvest soybean GH2292E3 brand outyielded Pioneer® soybeans by 1.9 bu/A in 74 comparisons.
  • Golden Harvest soybean GH3023XF brand outyielded Asgrow soybeans by 2.5 bu/A in 504 comparisons.
  • Golden Harvest soybean GH3582E3 brand outyielded Pioneer soybeans by 2.0 bu/A in 113 comparisons.

“We’re seeing these Golden Harvest soybean varieties deliver a tremendous yield advantage,” said Ryan Dunsbergen, Golden Harvest soybean product manager. “This year offered many challenges; but whether you have a near-perfect or extremely difficult yield environment, our soybean products consistently perform well across a wide geography. Our Gold Series soybeans, with elite genetics and robust agronomics, have risen to the challenge.”

To find the right Golden Harvest soybean varieties for each field, Dunsbergen advises farmers to:

Manage Sudden Death Syndrome to minimize soybean yield loss

One factor to consider in selecting the right soybean varieties for each field is to prepare for yield-robbing diseases. Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) in soybeans can be economically devastating. The pathogen responsible for SDS, Fusarium virguliforme, overwinters in soil and crop residue prior to infecting soybean roots early in the season.

Conditions that favor the disease include:

  • Fields with a history of SDS or Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN)
  • Early planting into cool soil conditions
  • Wet soils that delay emergence
  • Excessive precipitation during the growing season, particularly at flowering
  • Cooler temperatures during flowering and pod fill stages

“The shift to plant soybeans as early as possible to put more nodes on the plants and maximize yield potential comes with increased risk for soybean disease,” said Golden Harvest Agronomist Adam Mayer, who covers southeast Minnesota and northeast Iowa. “There is a strong correlation between early planting and SDS infection, so we must manage this risk through changes in genetics and management practices to get the most out of every acre.”

To combat SDS and protect soybean yield potential, Mayer recommends these four SDS management tips:

  1. Select resistant soybean varieties. Just like other diseases, the best defense against SDS is choosing a soybean variety that has better tolerance to the disease. There is no true resistance in soybean varieties, only differing levels of tolerance, so this is only one large step in the right direction for management. Golden Harvest does a combination of induced environmental screening along with field trial screenings to understand a variety’s rating before it is released. A few Golden Harvest soybean varieties that feature strong SDS tolerance include GH2292E3GH2722XF and GH3043E3.
  1. Use a soybean seed treatment. Seed treatments can be effective at lowering the infection rate early in the growing season. They provide a good return on investment potential in all levels of severity. Mayer recommends Saltro® fungicide seed treatment for its superior SDS efficacy, robust SCN activity and crop safety during seedling establishment.
  1. Control SCN. There is a correlation between SCN and SDS, so if farmers have SCN problems, there is a higher likelihood of seeing SDS. Using an alternate SCN-resistant soybean variety, such as Peking source resistance, or testing to understand if you have SCN levels can help with management decisions around SCN and SDS. Peking source resistance offers a different genetic resistance to SCN from PI 88788 to manage nematodes. A few Golden Harvest soybean varieties that feature Peking source resistance include GH1472E3GH1973E3S and GH2610E3.
  1. Create an environment that is less conducive to disease. The Fusarium strain that causes SDS likes a wetter environment, so reducing that element in the environment will help limit infection.

o   Do’s: Do manage drainage, reduce compaction and foster water infiltration.

o   Don’ts: Do not create a tillage pan or layer that will restrict root growth or inhibit water to flow down into the soil profile.

Manage soil macronutrients and micronutrients to maximize soybean yield potential

In addition to soybean seed selection and management tactics to prepare for the threats that come with early planting, Brad Koch, Golden Harvest agronomist for west and central Illinois, recommends farmers also look closely at several macronutrients and micronutrients in the soil to maximize yield potential.

“Every plant process from start to finish is influenced by macronutrients and micronutrients,” Koch says. “Nutrients are essentially the catalyst for most plant functions that drive yield. Forgetting about a few key nutrients, whether needed in large or small amounts, can really hold back a plant’s maximum yield potential.”

Koch shares the importance and management of five critical elements, including iron, potassium, sulfur, boron and manganese:

Iron

  • Importance: While managing soil pH is important for corn crops, it is even more critical for soybean crops. If soil pH is too low or acidic, microbial processes shut down and the plants don’t get the availability of applied nutrients. On the other end of the spectrum, if soil pH is too high, farmers can face a variety of issues. One key issue for soybean plants in high pH soil is iron deficiency. Iron is present in the soil, but it can be tied up into compounds in high pH soil, making it unavailable to growing soybean plants. Iron is important for soybean plants because it is the catalyst for initiating nodulation and chlorophyll production within the plant. Without adequate iron levels in the plant, two issues occur: The process for nitrogen production is hindered, and the leaves do not produce enough chlorophyll. This leads to iron deficiency chlorosis (IDC), which presents as interveinal chlorosis, plant stunting and general yellowing of the plant. IDC can decrease soybean yields by 50%, according to the University of Minnesota. Fields that are most susceptible to IDC are soils with a high pH (>7.5), poor drainage, compaction, higher soluble salts and/or higher carbonate (lime).
  • Management: To manage high pH soils and IDC, Koch recommends the following strategies in order from most to least effective:
  1. Select seed with iron deficiency tolerance: Select soybean varieties that are better able to overcome iron deficiency. A few Golden Harvest soybean varieties that feature iron deficiency tolerance include GH2292E3GH3132E3 and GH3913XF.
  2. Apply iron: Apply a specific iron fertilizer to help soybean plants access available iron and maximize yield potential. Koch recommends two options for fertilizer applications:

o   Apply a protected iron chelate fertilizer to the soil banded with starter fertilizers in the spring.

o   Apply a protected iron chelate fertilizer as a foliar spray application in the early- to mid-vegetative stages. Farmers should check with their suppliers as some fertilizer products are labeled for application with post-herbicides.

  1. Lower soil pH: It is more difficult to lower soil pH than it is to increase it. Higher pH soils typically have too much calcium, magnesium or sodium in the soil, and magnesium and sodium affect soil drainage. One way to combat this issue is tile draining fields and/or applying gypsum to reduce soluble salts in the soil.

Potassium

  • Importance: Soybeans use a large amount of potassium ― about 1.5 pounds of potassium per soybean bushel. Potassium is important for water regulation and disease tolerance in soybean plants, as well as stem strength. Soil testing can show the available potassium in the soil and if the amount of potassium is at or above critical levels for maximum yield. If the level of potassium is below the critical level, which varies based on soil type, farmers should apply potassium for full yield potential.
  • Management: In general, Koch recommends applying at least the maintenance amount of potassium based on crop removal and yield goals. Beyond this minimum amount, Koch encourages farmers to build up the amount of potassium in the soil beyond the critical level so soybean plants can withstand drought and diseases. Ideally, potassium should make up 4%-5% of the soil base saturation to make it highly plant available.

Sulfur

  • Importance: Sulfur is one of the 16 essential elements and one of three secondary macronutrients for crop production. Sulfur deficiency in young soybean plants often appears as yellowing of leaves and is more pronounced in new growth due to the nutrient’s immobility within the plant. Sulfur has recently started to become yield-limiting in many geographies, as atmospheric sulfur deposition has decreased with improved air quality standards and as the sulfur nutritional needs of soybean plants have increased with yields, which are driven by genetics and earlier planting dates.
  • Management: A return to applied sulfur will vary based on the soil’s organic matter (SOM), temperature and moisture, with lower SOM soils showing a more consistent yield increase and return on investment. Golden Harvest Agronomy in Action research showed a yield increase of up to 16 bushels per acre with the application of 20 pounds per acre of sulfate at the time of planting.2

Boron

  • Importance: Boron is an element that needs to be carefully managed in soybean crops. Boron is important for initiating the reproductive phase of soybean plants, specifically flowering and pollination. However, too much boron is not a good thing because in excess, it will burn the leaves or scorch the roots of the soybean plants.
  • Management: Koch recommends applying boron to the soil in a broadcast fashion at a rate of 1 pound of boron per acre or banding fashion at a rate of 0.5 pound of boron per acre due to efficiency; do not exceed 2-3 pounds per acre in any one year.

Manganese

  • Importance: Manganese is an important micronutrient for soybean plants because it is a catalyst for photosynthesis within the plant. When soybean plants are deficient in manganese, they turn yellow because the photosynthetic process is hindered. Two common causes of manganese deficiency are high soil pH and higher rates of glyphosate applications, both of which tie up manganese in the soil.
  • Management: To combat these issues, Koch recommends applying 2 pounds of manganese per acre in the spring. It can be banded with sulfur and boron, either pre-plant or sidedress, for efficiency. Another option is to apply a chelated manganese fertilizer as a foliar spray application in the early- to mid-vegetative stages. Farmers should check with their suppliers as some fertilizer products are labeled for application with post-herbicides.

For more tips and strategies, Golden Harvest offers a library of agronomy articles with actionable data and local insights to help precisely place products for maximized performance in farmers’ fields. The Agronomy in Action 2022 Research Review provides a comprehensive review of applied and practical agronomic studies conducted during the 2021 growing season at Golden Harvest Agronomy in Action research sites.

To find better solutions for your corn and soybean acres, contact a Golden Harvest Seed Advisor at GoldenHarvestSeeds.com.

Data is based on an average of 2022 Syngenta internal comparisons in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Head-to-group comparisons are against products from Asgrow and Pioneer within a +/- 0.3 RM of the corresponding Golden Harvest product. For more information regarding yield comparisons against an individual product, ask your Golden Harvest Seed Advisor.

2 Golden Harvest Agronomy in Action sulfur response trials at nine locations across Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota in 2021. For more information, visit https://www.goldenharvestseeds.com/agronomy/articles/sulfur-influence-on-soybeans.

About Golden Harvest

Golden Harvest Seeds has been working with and listening to farmers with intention since 1973, offering in-depth seeds expertise combined with the local agronomic know-how of an independent Golden Harvest Seed Advisor to help identify custom solutions for every corn and soybean acre. Today, each Golden Harvest hybrid or variety is bred with the individual needs of hardworking farmers in mind. Golden Harvest corn hybrids feature elite genetics with proven performance and the most complete above- and below-ground insect control solutions with Duracade and Viptera trait stacks. Golden Harvest soybean varieties include the industry’s broadest trait choice and exclusive genetics that set a new standard for performance and yield potential.

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The content of this release is for information purposes only. This release is not, and should not be construed as, an offer to sell or issue or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or other property interests. Syngenta hereby disclaims any liability for third-party websites referenced herein.

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