While many growers are in the thick of the 2013 harvest, most are already making important decisions to prepare for next year. Traditionally, growers have not spent as much time selecting soybean varieties as they have corn hybrids, but selecting the best variety and making crucial planting decisions can make or break yield. Varieties today need  to feature built-in resistance to damaging pests and diseases, including soybean cyst nematode and sudden death syndrome.

According to experts at The Ohio State University Extension, seed selection is one of the best ways to manage disease in soybeans. If a field is susceptible to disease, it is recommended growers plant the right resistance package to protect their yield.

“We encourage growers to select several varieties that complement their growing environment and are specific to their field conditions,” said Doug Tigges, soybean genetics product manager at Syngenta. “No two fields are the same, and it is crucial that growers select high-yielding, resistant varieties that meet their fields’ needs so their crop can start strong.”  

It is not too early to think ahead to planting. The following planting tips should be recommended to farmers to break the yield barrier, according to Syngenta: 

  • Narrow row width and plant soybeans in 15-inch rows. Iowa State University studies show an average 4.5 bushels-per-acre yield advantage.
  • Check planting depth so planter is set to plant seeds at the correct depth. According to Michigan State University, under most conditions soybeans should be planted at a depth of 1 to 1.5 inches.
  • Test soil fertility at least every other year, to ensure fertility levels are maintained, as recommended by Iowa State University

Syngenta offers NK soybeans through NK retailers or Syngenta Seed Advisors.