Category Archives: Soybean

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

Small upsurge in kudzu bug populations

Kudzu bug has been spotted above threshold (1 nymph per sweep – use at least 15 sweep samples in multiple parts of the field) in south central Virginia and in parts of central North Carolina. Kudzu bugs typically move into soybean in July-August in our state. Distribution surveys conducted by the entomology department in 2016 showed that kudzu bug are present in many soybean growing regions of our state.

Please consider the following information before making the decision to spray for this pest.

  1. Wait until nymphs (nymphs are wingless and cannot fly) are present in the field. Adults can make multiple invasions into a field. You do not want to make repeated sprays for this pest.
  2. Insecticides labeled for kudzu bug are broad-spectrum and will kill beneficials in your field. We are experiencing a large and early corn earworm flight this year in Virginia. Worm pests are much more likely to be a problem in fields that have been previously sprayed.

I’ll keep you posted on what we are seeing in soybean throughout Virginia. Please call if you have something to report.

Sally 919-801-5366

What You’ll See in the Field at the Virginia Ag Expo

As another reminder, the Virginia Ag Expo is Thursday, Aug. 3 at Renwood Farms in Charles City.  The event opens at 7:30 am and will run through mid-afternoon.

There is something for all corn and soybean farmers in the field this year.  Go on the field tour and you will be able to chat with Extension Specialists, company reps, and others about the research being conducted or anything else on your mind.

As always, the Ag Expo is home of one of our numerous on-farm corn hybrid and soybean variety tests.  This year, you will view 31 corn hybrids from 11 companies and 47 soybean varieties from 14 companies.  Drs. Mike Flessner and Charlies Cahoon will demonstrate off-site herbicide injury with some of our newest seed/chemical technologies.  Dr. Wade Thomason is evaluating in-furrow and starter fertilizer in corn.  The soil fertility team, led by Dr. Mark Reiter, is investigating fertilizer recommendations to ensure optimum production for high yielding soybeans.  You will view one of Dr. David Holshouser’s seeding rate trials as he is in the process of establishing variable rate seeding recommendations.  You will also see an experiment that you may have viewed at last year’s Ag Expo investigating the interaction of planting date with relative maturities.  Companies are participating in our plots with in-furrow and foliar sprays that offer potential to enhance yield potential under high-yielding conditions.  Finally, you’ll go below ground to view Virginia’s state soil, a Pamunkey loam, and discuss this yield contest-winning properties with NRCS personnel.

This is a walking, go-at-your-own-pace tour designed to fit your interest and schedule.  Buses will be running continuously to take you to and from the plots.  Enjoy!

Corn earworm and fall armyworm trap catch numbers in Virginia – Week of July 10, 2017

 

Corn earworm larva in sweet corn.

Corn earworm and fall armyworm are two important pests of a number of agricultural crops in Virginia.  Sweet corn, in particular, is extremely vulnerable to attack by the larvae (or caterpillars) of these moth pests.  Monitoring moth catch numbers in pheromone-baited traps can help IPM decision-making.  See at the end of this post the Action threshold for spraying insecticides on sweet corn based on corn earworm trap catch.  In general trap catch less than 1 per night means relatively low pest pressure and sprays can probably be spaced 5-6 days apart during silking.  However, a catch of >1 or >13 moths per night means moderate and high pest pressure, respectively and a more frequent spray interval is justified.

In 2017, we are monitoring these pests on sweet corn farms in 11 different counties in Virginia.  Moth Trap Catch Data are being recorded by:  Katlyn Catron & John Few (Montgomery Co.); Jason Cooper (Rockingham Co.); Ursula Deitch (Northampton Co.); Helene Doughty (Virginia Beach); Kenner Love (Rappahannock Co.); Laura Maxey Nay (Hanover Co.); Steve Pottorff (Carrol Co.); Stephanie Romelczyk  (Westmoreland Co.); Laura Siegle (Amelia Co.); Rebekah Slabach (Halifax Co.); and Mark Sutphin (Frederick Co.)

Here are the trap catch results (moths per night) for several locations around Virginia for this week (note we do not have data for all locations):

Region County Field CEW  moths/night FAW moths/night
Eastern Shore Accomack ESAREC 1.1 0
Eastern Shore Virginia Beach Pungo 1 1.6 0
Eastern Shore Virginia Beach Pungo 2 3.9 0
Eastern Shore Northampton Bridge Tunnel 6.6 0
Eastern Shore Northampton Capeville 1 3.6 0
Eastern Shore Northampton Capeville 2 0.0 0
Eastern Shore Northampton Eastville 0.6 0
Eastern Shore Northampton Nassawaddox 1.0 0
Piedmont Amelia Field 1 2.7 0
Piedmont Hanover Field 1 2.1 0
Piedmont Hanover Field 2 1.0 0
Northern Neck Westmoreland Field 1 3.0 0
Shenandoah Valley Rappahannock Field 1 1.0 0
Shenandoah Valley Frederick Field 1 2.3 0
Shenandoah Valley Frederick Field 2 3.5 0
New River Valley Montgomery Whitethorne 1.9 0
New River Valley Montgomery Wall field corn 1.1 0
New River Valley Montgomery Wall sweet corn 20.8 0

 

Action threshold: Number of Corn Earworm Moths Caught in Pheromone trap
Per Day Per 5 Days Per Week Spray Interval for sweet corn
<0.2 <1 <1.4 No Spray
0.2 – 0.5 1.0 – 2.5 1.4 – 3.5 6 Day
0.5 – 1.0 2.5 – 5.0 3.5 – 7.0 5 Day
1.0 – 13.0 5.0 – 65.0 7.0 – 91.0 4 Day
>13.0 >65.0 >91.0 3 Day

 

 

2017 Virginia Ag Expo Returns to Charles City County

Please note: the date for the Virginia Ag Expo is August 3, 2017.

“Focused on Productivity, Management and Stewardship” is the theme for the 2017 Virginia Ag Expo.  The Virginia Ag Expo, hosted by the Virginia Grain Producers Association and the Virginia Soybean Association in partnership with Virginia Cooperative Extension, is the largest agricultural field day held in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  As an educational, marketing and social event farmers and agribusiness look forward to the Virginia Ag Expo each year.

Renwood Farms, owned and operated by The Stanley Hula Family, will be hosting this year’s Ag Expo on August 3.  The Hula Family’s farm is a diversified operation growing over 6,000 acres of corn, soybeans and small grains; along with seed conditioning and sales.  A focus on management and productivity at Renwood Farms has produced the world record corn yield of 532 bushels per acre by David Hula.  In addition, the USG soybean seed that produced the world record yield of 172 bushels per acre was grown and conditioned at Renwood Farms.

Over 150 exhibitors and sponsors will have on display all of the most up to date equipment, goods and services for agricultural producers and property owners no matter how large or small.

The event opens at 7:30 am.  The field tour, starting at 8 am, is a walking, go-at-your-own-pace tour designed to fit your interest and schedule.  Buses will be running continuously to take you to and from the plots.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided by Virginia food vendors. Attendees will be able to eat any time from 6:30 AM to 2:00 PM.

Renwood Farms is located at 17303 Sandy Point Road, Charles City, VA 23030.

Soybean Planting Dates, Seeding Rates, Re-planting, Weeds, etc.

June is usually the time of the year when full season soybean is kicking into high gear and we begin planting double-crop soybean.  And like always, various issues are beginning to arise, whether its the weather or finding out mistakes made a few weeks earlier.

Unbelievably, double-crop soybean is wrapping up in many areas due to small grain maturing earlier than normal.  Out of necessity, we were forced to harvest wheat and plant soybean at the same time we were trying to make timely postemergence herbicide applications and generally trying to pay attention to the rapidly growing soybean that we planted in April and May.  But, issues such as these are not unusual.

This week, I thought I’d mention a few things that we are facing and continue to remind you of the need to plant as soon as possible and adjust seeding rates accordingly.

Planting Date.  We are now losing about 1/2 bushel per acre per day with each delay in soybean planting.  Plant as soon as possible, but don’t cause more serious problems by planting into too wet or dry soils.

Seeding Rate.  My data indicates that seeding rates now need to be at least 180,000 seed per acre, even on the best of soils.  I would bump those up about 20,000 seed for each week’s delay in planting.  See Soybean Seeding Rates for June and Later for more information.

Replanting.  Generally, replanting does not pay this time of the year (due to the planting date penalty) unless the stand is horrible.  For more information, see Soybean Replant Decisions or contact me.

Seed Treatments.  I’ve seen few benefits of fungicide or insecticide seed treatments this time of year.  Plants usually emerge and grow quickly.  The exception is wet soils – soybean will emerge very slow when soils are saturated.  With that in mind, you may consider a fungicide on the seed if you have poorly-drained soils, your soils are already wet, and rain is predicted.

Seeding Depth.  Those of you know that I usually don’t like to plant soybean greater than 1 inch.  But, I’ve found that planting soybean at 1.5 inch (and occasionally 2 inches) works just fine when soils are warm.  Sometimes, it’s better to plant deeper to hit moisture than to plant into dry soils.

Weeds.  First, Drs. Charlie Cahoon and Mike Flessner is who you need to consult regarding weeds, but here are a few of my observations.  We may have let a few weeds get too big for adequate control – this is especially a problem with glyphosate-resistant weeds.  Marestail continues to be a problem.  When this weed is glyphosate resistant and you’re not growing Liberty-Link soybean, about the only somewhat effective herbicide that we have left in our arsenal for Roundup Ready soybean is FirstRate, although a few other herbicides may burn the weed – just don’t expect very much from anything.  I’ll let you mull over your other options if you have planted Xtend soybean.  Finally, don’t depend on glyphosate alone – even if you weeds are not yet resistant, its a good practice to diversify to insure that they do not become so.

Herbicide Resistant Common Ragweed Plot Tour

Having trouble controlling herbicide resistant common ragweed? Make plans to attend the field tour, this coming Thursday (June 22nd, 2017) near Lawrenceville, Virginia. Complete information is below. Please RSVP as soon as possible.

View a complete spectrum of preemergence and postemergence herbicides in soybeans in the field to see what works best for yourself. Also, learn about integrated weed management approaches that work within our cropping systems.