Soybean varieties tested across 12 Louisiana parishes

There are many variables a farmer cannot control, including rain, extreme temperatures and pest pressure.

One extremely important variable is within the producer’s control, said David Moseley, state soybean specialist for the LSU AgCenter.

“One major decision producers can make is to select the best varieties for their environment,” Moseley said. “If the producer plants suitable varieties, that is a very large part of a successful year.”

To assist growers in that task, AgCenter scientists evaluate over 100 soybean varieties in the annual official variety trial. Researchers also evaluate varieties in real-world conditions on farms across the state in the core-block demonstration program so they can be studied in different soil types and production practices.

This year the AgCenter is testing 20 different soybean trials across 12 parishes in the core-block on-farm demonstration program. Fourteen additional trials could not be planted because of persistent heavy rains.

Seed companies work to improve varieties each year, aiming for higher yields and better resistance to pests and diseases, and the AgCenter variety trials help producers decide what to plant.

“Generally, every year there are new varieties available, so it is important to continue evaluating the varieties in multiple environments to optimize yield across the state,” Moseley said.

Along with the core-block demonstrations, two on-farm nematode-resistance screening demonstrations were planted in Concordia and Morehouse parishes, he said.

Additional soybean agronomic research

Moseley is also leading a three-part study that evaluates methods that could increase or protect soybean yields. One aspect of the study tests mature seed damage resistance. Moseley is seeking varieties resistant to weathering damage because of a delayed harvest.

For this aspect of the research, the scientists study plantings from the official variety trials at AgCenter research stations. They harvest the middle rows of the plots for the trial data and leave the border rows to screen for weathering resistance.

“After the timely harvest, we wait a few weeks until there have been sufficient rain events to affect the seed quality. When the quality begins to decline, we harvest the seed from the border rows and compare the seed quality to the timely harvest,” Moseley said.

For another aspect of the study, Moseley is collaborating with LSU AgCenter fertility specialist Rasel Parvez to analyze the timing of phosphorus applications in alkaline and acidic soils. In high and low pH soils, phosphorus can become unavailable, Moseley said.

“The idea is to see if you can apply the phosphorus at different growth stages to optimize the phosphorus uptake by the plant and increase yield potential,” Moseley said.

Part three of the study examines the planting dates of different soybean maturity groups, with researchers seeking to establish recommendations for the earliest and latest dates to plant.

“Recent research has indicated the most optimum planting date may be slightly earlier in some situations than currently recommended,” he said.

Another objective of the planting date trial is to optimize planting recommendations for late planting situations, such as double cropping or delayed planting due to persistent rainy weather, Moseley said.

In addition to yield potential, Moseley is collaborating with other LSU AgCenter scientists to evaluate the protein and oil content across different maturity groups and planting dates.

“There is a variety in each maturity group through which we can access historical protein and oil content data,” Moseley said. “This research will allow us to compare the stability of protein and oil content from the Rice, Dean Lee and the Macon Ridge research stations across multiple maturity groups and planting dates.”

Soybean On-Farm Demos_2021-01jpg

Soybean core block locations

West Carroll, Pointe Coupee, Madison, Richland, Tensas, St. James, St. Mary, Avoyelles, Caddo, Rapides, Franklin, East Baton Rouge

9/17/2021 8:56:01 PM
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