Category Archives: Soybean

Virginia Soybean Yield Contest Results Announced

2017 was a great year to grow soybean.  We set a new record for average soybean yields in Virginia and most were generally happy with their soybean crop.

Although we did not break Keith Brankley’s 2012 Virginia record of 109 bushels per acre (and this was not irrigated), we did induct 3 new members into the 100-bushel club with the help of irrigation.  We also inducted 3 new members into the 90-bushel club and 4 new members into the 80-bushel club without the aid of irrigation.

I invite you to the Virginia Grain and Soybean Conference to share in their success and maybe get a few pointers on how to be the first inductee into the 110-bushel (or greater) club in 2018.

Below are a list of winners:

Double-Crop Contest

3rd place – Patti Craun with 66.8 bu/A using Pioneer P46T30X

2nd place – Kevin Craun with 67.2 bu/A using Pioneer P46T30X

1st place – Steve Smith with 72.3 bu/A using Channel 4916RX/SR

Full-Season Contest

3rd place – Michael Downing with 92.6 bu/A using Asgrow AG45X6

2nd place – Stephen Ellis with 93.8 bu/A using Axis 3916NR

1st place – Curtis Packett with 96.2 bu/A using Asgrow AG4135

Irrigated Contest

3rd place – Steve Hudson with 100.8 bu/A using Channel 4916R2X/SR

2nd place – Jonathan Hudson with 101.5 bu/A using Channel 4916R2X/SR

1st place – Frank Hula with 104.2 bu/A using Local Seed Co. TS3959R2S

The Virginia Grain & Soybean Conference is less than 2 weeks away!

On behalf of both the Virginia Soybean and Virginia Grain Producers Associations, I invite you to join me for the 2018 Virginia Grain and Soybean Annual Conference on February 20-21, 2018. The conference will span two days and is being held at the Richmond Westin Hotel to provide a convenient, comfortable and inviting environment for attendees and their families. In response to increased interest, this year the conference will have a greatly expanded exhibit hall providing a larger and more prominent space for exhibitors and attendees to network.

Continuing to honor your requests that we not include information that you received at the county and regional meetings, we continue to include exciting, innovative, and largely non-production  oriented speakers.  Furthermore, following the success of last year’s two-day program, the conference has added even more breakout topics, speakers, and programming to help you run a strong, profitable operation. The program will feature keynote speakers and topics certain to bring value to your operation, including:  Smithfield Foods’ Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Commodity Hedging Officer Dhamu Thamodaran; The Port of Virginia’s Mid-Atlantic Area Manager Kara Matzko; and FBI Counterintelligence Training Center Special Agents Mark Betten and Matthew Seckers discussing the topic of intellectual property security and the agriculture industry.

As always, your registration includes all meals including a full dinner that will follow the networking reception Tuesday evening, giving you additional time to network and spend time with colleagues and speakers.

Click Here for Individual Registration

Click Here for Sponsorship Opportunities & Sponsors Registration

What’s on the Agenda?

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

10:30am Registration & Exhibitor Trade Show Opens

11:30am Lunch Buffet Opens

12:00pm Lunch & Commodity Market Speaker

Robert Harper, Grain Division Manager, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation

1:00pm Breakout Sessions – Choose One

Weed & Pest Management in Grain & Soybeans

Charlie Cahoon & Michael Flessner, Virginia Tech

Soil Health Strategies for Increased Yields

Chris Lawrence, NRCS Cropland Agronomist & Dr. Mark Reiter, Eastern Shore AREC

Opportunities & Challenges on the Horizon

Dicamba Update from Monsanto

Rapeseed & Organic Opportunities for a Profitable Rotation, Jeff riddell, Perdue AgriBusiness

2:15pm Break & Visit with Exhibitors

2:30pm Breakout Session Repeated – Choose One

3:45pm Break & Visit with Exhibitors

4:00pm Globalization of Agriculture & Commodities

Dhamu Thamodaran, Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Commodity Hedging Officer of Smithfield Foods

5:00pm Reception & Networking in the Exhibit Hall

6:00pm Awards Dinner

This includes corn and soybean yield contest winner presentations.  Although we did not break Keith Brankley’s 2012 Virginia record of 109 bushels per acre, we did induct 3 new members into the 100-bushel club, 3 new members into the 90-bushel club, and 4 new members into the 80-bushel club.  Of course David Hula and other corn farmers continue to break yield records in that crop – the number of winners is too large to list in this small space.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

7:30am Breakfast Buffet Opens

8:00am Annual Meetings, Elections, and Reports

8:30am Updates from Secretary of Agriculture & Forestry Bettina Ring

Break & Visit with Exhibitors

10:00am Managing Security Risks in Agricultural Trade

Special Agent Matthew Seckers, FBI, Richmond Division and Special Agent Mark Betten, Unit Chief for the FBI’s Counterintelligence Training Center, FBI Academy, Quantico, VA

11:00am The Agriculture Industry and the Port of Virginia: Growing New Markets

Kara Matzko, Mid-Atlantic Area Manager, Port of Virginia

12:00pm Dicamba Training & Certification Lunchon

Chelsea Valenti, BASF Crop Protection

Where Can I Stay?

We have reserved a room block at the Richmond Westin at the discounted price of $129 per night. Reservations must be made on or before February 6, 2018 by calling 1-888-627-7786. Reference the “Grain & Soybean Annual Conference” rate. You may also visit:

https://www.starwoodmeeting.com/Book/VGASA2018

 

Dicamba Training: Tuesday February 6, 2018 Paul D. Camp CC

For those of you near Franklin, VA, I wanted to let you know of another dicamba training scheduled.  BASF will be holding a dicamba training on Tuesday February 6th, 2018 at 4:15pm at the Paul D. Camp Community College Regional Workforce Development Center ( 100 North College Drive Franklin, VA 23851).  The training should last about 1 hour.
Just to be clear, this training has been scheduled immediately after the 2018 Virginia Cotton Production Meeting, however, it is not associated with the Virginia Cotton Producers Association nor Virginia Cooperative Extension.
As always, feel free to reach out to Michael or myself with any questions or concerns.

Dicamba Training Announcement

The federal labels for XtendiMax® herbicide with VaporGrip® Technology (Monsanto), Dow DuPont ® FeXapan® herbicide Plus VaporGrip® Technology, and Engenia® Herbicide (BASF) now require additional training beyond a Pesticide Applicator’s License prior to use of these products “over the top” of dicamba-tolerant soybean or cotton.  Training for 2018 will be provided by the registrants of the products (BASF, Monsanto, and Dow DuPont).

Agents/dealers interested in scheduling a training in their area or having a company representative deliver the training at an already scheduled meeting should contact the following company representatives:

Company

Area

Name

Email

Phone

BASF

Eastern Shore

Gar Thomas

garfield.thomas@basf.com

NA

BASF

Rest of Virginia

Kelly Liberator

kelly.liberator@basf.com

NA

Monsanto

Virginia

Jeff Phillips

Jeffrey.i.phillips@monsanto.com

330-402-2591

Monsanto

Southeast Virginia

Ken Lampkin

kenneth.c.lampkin@monsanto.com

919-709-6049

If you schedule a training with either BASF, Dow DuPont, or Monsanto, I would encourage you to make the other companies aware of the training planned in your area.  That way, the companies can better coordinate their efforts to reach as many applicators as possible.  Also, training by any of the three registrants will cover all dicamba products labeled for in-crop use to dicamba-tolerant soybean or cotton (applicators do not need to take training from the registrant of the specific dicamba product they intend to use).

In lieu of the face-to-face trainings, the companies also plan to have a web-based training that will satisfy applicator training requirements.  Michael and I feel the face-to-face training will better prepare the applicators for the off-target challenges of dicamba.  Web-based training can be used as a last resort if a grower is unable to attend face-to-face training.  The following websites offer more information on web-based training:

https://www.roundupreadyxtend.com/Pages/default.aspx

http://www.dupont.com/products-and-services/crop-protection/soybean-protection/articles/fexapan-application.html

There are a few trainings scheduled for the area.  See the  link below for an announcement from Monsanto for two training sessions in Suffolk, VA on Wednesday January 31st.  BASF will be training applicators at the Virginia Grains & Soybean Conference (http://www.virginiagrains.com/annualconference/).  The BASF training for this meeting is schedule for Wednesday February 21st at 12:00pm.  I anticipate both companies to have other training;  Michael and I will keep you updated as we receive word.  Please help spread the word on these trainings, as many growers still do not know that training is required.  Also,I would encourage you and your applicators to pre-register for the events so folks can plan accordingly.

With that said, feel free to reach out to Michael or me if you have any questions or concerns.

Monsanto Dicamba Training Announcement

Good Soybean Yields in Virginia for 2017

It was a challenging harvest season, but we harvested our last plot today.  Yields were very good, ranging from the upper 40’s to upper 70’s.  Across all maturity groups in our variety tests, full-season yields averaged 63.3 bushels/acre and double-crop averaged 60.0 bushels/acre.

Virginia soybean are now predicted to average 45 bushels/acre, a new state record.  We are just shy of the predicted national average.  Over the last 20 years, we have been increasing yields at a rate of 0.6 bushels/acre per year.  This is quite a feat!  While better genetics are part of this increase, I think that most of the increase is coming from better overall management of the crop.  This management includes long term (e.g., better soil quality, etc.) and short term (e.g., timely planting, etc.). 

Of course, we cannot forget the weather.  It was relatively cool during the critical pod and seed development stages.  More importantly, rain came at the right time.

2017 Virginia Soybean Variety Results

Below are some preliminary results to our soybean variety tests.  I caution you that these are preliminary – some changes could still be made.  But, I feel pretty good about the data presented here.  Some double-crop data from Orange and Painter is still outstanding due to variability.  We will be trying to determine its cause and have those data available ASAP.

Workhorses, Racehorses, and Quarter horses

Today is the first day in 2 weeks that we’ve been able to harvest due to weather and a combine breakdown.  So, we are not that much farther along in getting variety test data to you than we were last week.  However, I hope to get out some preliminary data by Thanksgiving.

Last week, I indicated that certain relative maturities do better in some parts of Virginia than others.  This week, I I’ll get a little more specific and discuss choosing the best variety for a given yield potential.

First and foremost, I will continue to emphasize that variety selection should be based on multi-year multi-site data.  Basing your selection on a single test (maybe closest to you) and single year is a recipe for failure.  However, I don’t necessarily recommend always choosing a variety based on average yields over site-years – although a very good place to start.  This may seem a little contradictory, but let me explain.

Certain varieties do better under high-yielding environments.  I like to call these “racehorse” varieties.  Choose such a variety if you want to win a yield contest.  Other varieties may yield more than others under stressful conditions.  I refer to these as “workhorses”.  And there are some that tend to do well, regardless of the yield potential – I’ll call these “quarter horses” (quarter horses can run very fast for short distances and you can still ride them long distances over quite rugged terrain).

Last year, we analyzed 5 years of variety test data and classified all varieties that we tested as one of the above.  Examples of our results are shown below. The graphs represent the yield of a single variety versus the yield of all varieties tested at that site and year.  Each symbol represents a different site-year.

To summarize, the vast majority of varieties are neither racehorses or workhorses; they perform equally in all yield environments.  So, averages will work just fine in most cases.  But, if you know you have a great- or poor yielding soil or if you are irrigating, then you may want to look into those varieties that fit that situation.

We have all of these data in an excel spreadsheet.  If interested, let me know; I’ll be happy to share upon request.

What’s the Best Soybean Maturity Group for your Farm

Yields are coming in from our variety tests – yields are good, not great, but good, ranging from the upper 40’s to low 70’s.  I hope to get a summary of the maturity group (MG) 3 and 4 tests out soon.  Be looking for them.

In the meantime, a questions that continues to arise if “What is the best maturity group for my farm?”  Or “What’s the best maturity group for my field?”  This is a very valid question.  Some years MG 4’s will shine and other years the MG 5’s are best.  Occasionally, MG 3 or 6 look good (the 6’s have been performing very well lately – as long as the frost holds off until mid-Nov!

An attempt was recently made (and published) to redrawn the MG lines in the U.S (Mourtzinis and Conley, 2017) – see the map to the upper right.  The researchers used variety test data from nearly all states to come up with the map shown.  While this map is more-or-less accurate when looking at the U.S. as a whole, it is not when you look closer (i.e., at individual states).

To better answer your questions regarding MG’s in Virginia, we took 10 years of our variety test data (around 15,000 plots) and began evaluating the probability of:

  1. a relative maturity (RM) yielding at least as high as the other RM’s tested at that location
  2. a RM yielding significantly higher than the other RM’s tested at that location.

Results are shown in the following graphs. Note that we split the results into full-season and double-crop soybean.  We have also divided each MG into early-, mid-, and late-RM’s.  The total bar height answers question 1 – the probability that the RM does at least as well at the others.  For instance, as expected, there is an 80 to 100% probability that MG 5’s will yield at least as much as other relative maturities in Blackstone (Southern Piedmont, droughty clay soils).

The hatched part of the bars answer question 2 – the probability that the RM yields significantly more that the other RM’s.  Using the Blackstone example, the 5’s yield significantly more than other MG’s 30 to 60% of the time.

Of course the “devil is in the details”.  There are soil properties and environmental conditions that control which RM is best in a given year.  If interested, contact me; I’ll give you my preliminary thoughts on that.  Rainfall is definitely the biggest influence – not how much we receive but when it falls; but that is random in Virginia.  There are other issues.

 

To summarize:

  • MG 3’s and 4’s are best suited for the most northern and western location (Orange).
  • MG 5’s perform best in our most southerly locations (Blackstone and Suffolk).  But, the late 4’s can make a strong showing in some years, especially at Suffolk (I think I know why; its not just when the rain fell. Contact me.)
  • Both MG 4’s and 5’s perform well at Warsaw (we can’t explain the full-season late-4 results, yet).  Note that yield potential of the later 5’s decline with double-crop plantings at this northerly, but Coastal Plain site (probably frost damage).
  • All MG 4’s (early, mid, and late) perform best when planted in May at our Eastern Shore location (Painter).  There are curious things happening here (while not that far south, its our most easterly and probably the most consistently favorable environment for growing soybean).  Note that early- and mid-4’s are no better than 5’s when planted double-crop.

1st Attempt at a Relative Maturity Map in Virginia

I’ve made an attempt at drawing a Virginia map.  But do not read too much into this!  This is based only on 5 locations (although 10 site-years and thousands of plots at each location) and the “devils in the detail”.  An I did not use GIS to draw this map (the lines are not 100% accurately located).

Do not assume that I want you to plant only these RM in these areas, only that these tend to do best in most years.

How do you use these data?  Make most of your chosen varieties fit these results.  However, allocate a smaller acreage to those RM’s that can occasionally break records.

On a closing note, these data also indicate that early RM’s do better on our best, most productive land.  But, that’s a topic for next week.

Eastern Shore AREC Field Day CANCELED!

Due to impending rain Tuesday and Wednesday and already saturated soils, the Eastern Shore AREC field day scheduled for Wednesday, September 13, 2017 has been canceled. Let’s hope Hurricane Irma keeps tracking further west. We certainly do not need any more rain!

Eastern Shore AREC Field DAY: September 13th, 2017

Please join us for Virginia Tech’s Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center (ESAREC) 2017 Research Field Day on Wednesday, September 13th. Registration is free, open to the public and will begin at 8:00 AM at the ESAREC complex located at 33446 Research Drive, Painter, Virginia 23420. The field tour will begin at 9:00 AM and conclude with lunch at 12:30 PM.  See the attached flyer for specific projects to be highlighted and more information.

If you would like more information or are interested in sponsoring this event, please contact Lauren Seltzer at 757-414-0724 ext. 11 or email at mlpeyton@vt.edu.

2017 ESAREC Field Day Announcement