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Preliminary Testing of Soybean Varieties for Seed Production

Updated: May 10

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.