Soybean core block trials examining several issues of growers’ concern

David Moseley, LSU AgCenter soybean specialist, sees a great deal of Louisiana through his core block variety trials. These trials are found at 17 locations in 14 parishes and are in virtually every corner of the state.

“Yield is always the most important aspect we look at in these trials,” Moseley said. “But we are also focusing on some situational issues that could help growers across the state experiencing similar issues.”

Core block trials are conducted on commercial growers’ farms and on research stations. Moseley is looking at varieties that are commonly grown in the state. He is looking at 25 different varieties across maturity groups III, IV and V.

“We want the research to be representative of the state,” Moseley said. “About half the locations are irrigated, which is about what we find in Louisiana soybean production.”

Moseley has expanded upon the core block trials and is looking at specific issues hampering specific farms with the hopes that solving these problems could be applicable to other producers.

One area under study is soil fertility issues. In northeast Louisiana, a manganese study is underway on 160 acres in Catahoula Parish. Soybeans on this farm showed symptoms of manganese deficiency, which were exacerbated when glyphosate was applied.

“Some research indicates that glyphosate can tie up manganese, and it can cause manganese deficiency,” Moseley said. “So we’ll be able to see the same treatments with and without glyphosate to see if that is causing a problem here.”

Moseley is also studying potassium issues related to a farm in southwest Louisiana. The treatments included recommended rates, split applications and in-season foliar potassium applications. This is the second year of study for this location.

Additionally, Moseley is studying varieties resistance to nematodes using strip trials at three research stations in north Louisiana. He is examining seven varieties at the Northeast, Macon Ridge and Red River research stations.

Moseley already has plans to expand his work in 2024.

“Next year, I plan on studying deer repellents,” he said. “There’s not a lot of research in this area, and we hear a lot of complaints about deer damaging crops.”

Moseley also plans to continue to study fertility issues regarding micro and macronutrients. Next year, he plans to examine phosphorus and sulfur issues in soybean production with on-farm demonstrations.

Soybeans are Louisiana’s largest row crop in terms of acreage with an estimated 1.12 million acres grown in 2023. They are also grown throughout the state on many different soil types, so research is beneficial to farmers statewide.

Moseley also wanted to thank all of the farmers, seed company representatives, consultants, extension agents and researchers who have provided invaluable assistance and participation in these studies.

Map of Louisiana with stars indicating 17 soybean core block locations.

Soybean core block locations

  • Acadia
  • Assumption
  • Avoyelles
  • Caddo
  • Concordia
  • East Baton Rouge
  • Franklin
  • Natchitoches
  • Pointe Coupee
  • Rapides
  • St. James
  • St. Landry
  • Tensas
  • West Carroll
9/14/2023 2:17:46 PM
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