Simplifying soybean seed decisions

Raising a soybean crop is a roll of the dice. Some years the weather is perfect, the disease pressure is low, and yields are great. In other years, it’s the exact opposite. Simplifying your seed decisions and selecting an appropriate variety for your field can give you better odds.

Mark Licht is an extension agronomist at Iowa State University. He says yield and yield consistency should be number one in your decision.

"We know that if we don’t have high-yielding cultivars that we’re planting, we just don’t have the high yield potential. The yield consistency comes back into identifying the varieties that perform year in and year out," says Licht. "We’re using variety trials to predict how the variety’s going to perform the next year."

He cautions that sometimes the highest yielding varieties are also the highest priced varieties so make sure you get the benefit for the cost.  

Another point to consider in your selection is disease tolerance. What traits do you want versus what do you need? Choose carefully.

"Are we all using that glyphosate tolerance or not? Now, it would be easy to say just choose seed that doesn’t have it, but most of the seed anymore has that as a herbicide trait," he says. "We can think of a whole host of herbicide traits, well, which herbicide traits are we going to get the value out of and are we going to be able to use? That may help us narrow down the process a little bit although, most companies are stacking those traits quite a bit."

Let your seed supplier know what your hot button issues are and if this year’s variety turned out mediocre, be honest about it.

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