Soybean agronomic trials support best management practice decisions

Core block graphics - digital usepng

On-farm crop demonstrations are a long-standing tradition in agriculture. It is a tradition that Seaman A. Knapp instilled in the extension service. These demonstrations remain as a vital cog of research conducted by LSU AgCenter specialists.

David Moseley, AgCenter soybean specialist, collaborates with AgCenter agents, farmers and other specialists to conduct the state’s soybean on-farm demonstrations.

This year, Moseley has five areas of emphasis for the on-farm soybean demonstrations. They are the traditional on-farm variety performance strip trials (core block), a variety nematode resistance demonstration, conventional soybean variety evaluations, a planting date by maturity group demonstration and a potassium fertility trial.

“This year we are evaluating 36 different varieties across 19 parishes for the core block,” Moseley said. “Yields are a priority for these demonstrations, but we are also placing an emphasis on nematode resistance and planting dates with some of our on-farm research.”

Half of the core-block demonstrations are maturity group IV soybeans, but he is also looking at maturity groups III and V.

For the past three years, a planting date trial was conducted at the Dean Lee, Rice Research and Macon Ridge Research stations, which examined how planting dates affect yields, specifically for maturity groups III, IV and V. The six dates of planting ranged from the earliest on March 22 to the latest on July 1.

The optimal planting dates for these trials have been in April with a small drop-off in yield for late-March to mid-May planting dates.

Moseley also did a phosphorus study in a field with low soil phosphorus levels last year and made an interesting finding.

“Applying phosphorus at the recommended rate at planting date is a recommended practice and did not result in the highest yield,” Moseley said, “but in 2021 an in-season phosphorus application in a soil with low phosphorus content and high pH did result in yield increase.”

Because many soybean varieties mature in August and September, they are often exposed to persistent afternoon showers or heavy downpours associated with tropical systems, which can affect quality.

“In 2020, we found there was evidence some varieties can have better weathering resistance,” Moseley said. “We need to collect more data, but it may be possible to screen varieties to resist persistent rainfall during harvest season.” Craig Gautreaux

8/17/2022 8:18:57 PM
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