Preliminary Testing of Soybean Varieties for Seed Production

Project Site: Fairview Research Farm (NW5-82-3W6) on RR #35, MD of Fairview.

Research Coordinator: Dr. Akim Omokanye

From: Peace Country Beef & Forage Association 2017 Annual Report


Soybeans are an important warm season oilseed crop, with production occurring throughout the world. The crop is processed (crushed) to produce a highly desired protein meal for animal diets, as well as vegetable oil for human consumption. Alberta swine and poultry producers currently import large quantities of soybean meal from the U.S. Several soybean varieties are available in the market. Agronomically, soybeans have the advantage of fixing nitrogen when properly inoculated, and do not require a lot of specialized equipment to grow. In Alberta, soybeans are grown on a limited scale on irrigated land in Southern Alberta but do not compete well for acreage with higher value irrigated crops. However, in recent years we have seen a rapid increase in soybean production in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, demonstrating that soybeans can find a place in dry land crop rotations where growing conditions are favorable. Furthermore, agricultural technology companies are developing shorter season varieties which may be suitable for production in larger areas of Alberta. Available soybean seed varieties dictate maturity dates. Early varieties may be useful in the Peace Country region where the limiting factor is the length of the growing season. To ensure we have the right variety that can be used in the region by producers who may want to try growing some soybeans, it is essential to test a range of varieties for their suitability in the Peace. It is important to select varieties based on heat unit requirements, high yields, fast emergence, minimal stress, adaptability, and disease resistance.

Methods

  • Project Site: Fairview Research Farm (NW5-82-3W6) on RR #35, MD of Fairview.

  • Previous Crop: Oats for greenfeed in 2016, forage grasses from 2010-2015

  • Site soil information(0-6” depth): Soil tests done at Exova laboratory (Edmonton) prior to seeding showed pH = 5.6 and soil organic matter = 8.0%.

  • The field was cultivated (disked and harrowed) before seeding.

  • Experimental Design: Randomized complete block design in 3 replications.

  • Treatments: 9 Roundup Ready soybean varieties were seeded:

  1. TH 35002

  2. Leroy RR2Y

  3. Currie R2

  4. Reston RR2Y

  5. Akras R2

  6. TH 33003

  7. Starcity RR2X

  8. Newton

  9. Watson RR2Y

  • Seeding Date was June 1

  • Seeding Rate: 55 seed/m2

  • Seed was inoculated at seeding

  • Seeding method: 6-row Fabro plot drill with 9” row spacing

  • Fertility (actual lbs/acre): 50 P + 41 K + 18 S

  • Plot size: 11.04 m2 (118.8 ft2 )

  • Sprayings: Pre-emergent with Roundup Weathermax


Results

In our test, 3 (Leroy RR2Y, TH 33003 and Watson RR2Y) of the 9 soybean varieties tested appeared to have higher 1000 seed weight and yield than other varieties.


Seed yield was higher and similar for both Starcity RR2X and Leroy RR2Y, each with about 23 bushels/acre seed yield. Next to Starcity RR2X and Leroy RR2Y in seed yield was Watson RR2Y with about 18 bushels/acre seed yield.


Looking at Table 1, soybean varieties with lower heat units (2225-2275) seemed to favour higher seed production than those requiring >2275 heat units. This is expected as soybean is a warm season crop. This preliminary study therefore shows that soybeans with lower heat unit/early maturing varieties would hold high promise for the short season in the Peace areas.



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