Growers should prepare for larger soybean seed in 2014

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Dry weather conditions during the growing season followed by late season rains may be the cause of larger-than-normal soybean seed this year, which can affect planter performance and ultimately yields. In response, Syngenta has taken several steps to improve the planting experience with its line of NK soybeans.

Along with running plantability tests on all seed lots after conditioning, the company is conducting additional pre- and post-conditioning tests and quality processes to ensure a more uniform seed size, which will provide a better customer experience.

“Our mission is to help farmers grow more soybeans,” said Doug Tigges, soybean genetics product manager at Syngenta. “We added a polymer to NK soybeans treated at our facilities to enhance soybean seed plantability and flowability, and changed to a new concentrated red colorant on seed treatments to distinguish this next generation of seed.”

Larger-than-normal soybean seed has become more common the last two growing seasons. According to outreach researchers at the Purdue University Extension, growers should be aware of the size of their seed so they can properly prepare their planters.  To ensure proper planter calibration, the following tips are recommended:

  • Run a sample of seed to make sure planter monitors are working properly.
  • Match disc size and air pressure to seed size on vacuum metering units.
  • Use a talc or graphite lubricant to improve seed flow and prevent bridging.  

In addition to following manufacturers’ recommendations for smoother planting, growers should be aware of the importance of seed selection. “While the growing environment and genetics play key roles in seed size, the most important consideration for growers is selecting varieties that are tailored to meet their specific field needs and maximize the yield potential of every acre,” said Tigges.

Growers wrapping up their seed selection still have time to purchase high-performing seed. Syngenta announced that 16 new NK brand soybean varieties, fitting a wide array of field conditions and ranging in relative maturity from 0.07 to 5.9, are available in limited quantities for spring 2014. These high-yielding varieties offer a combination of Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield herbicide tolerance, soybean cyst nematode (SCN) resistance, Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) resistance and four of the new launches are stacked with STS herbicide tolerance. The addition of these new products expands the current offering, which enables soybeans to start strong and for you to grow more soybeans.


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