Selecting the right soybean variety

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Selecting the right soybean variety, trait package and treatment can be a bit confusing - there are so many choices, said Matt Hubsch, lead agronomist for Legend Seeds, De Smet, S.D.

"Depending on the specific challenges your growing conditions create, will determine what you need to consider when making your 2012 soybean seed purchase," Hubsch said.

Below he outlines specific items growers should consider when selecting their 2012 soybean variety.

1. Consider brown stem rot resistance when planting bean-on-bean acres.

Whether it's excess moisture at planting time, or just the way your fields work out if you're planting a bean-on-bean rotation brown stem rot can become an issue.

Brown stem rot is a fungus that can thrive and live in soybean residue for up to 10 months, so selecting varieties that are resistant to brown stem rot becomes important when planting in this situation.

2. If wetter than normal planting season look for new phytophthora root rot resistant gene.

Due to the wetter than normal growing seasons many growers have experienced phytophthora root rot, which is more prone to wet conditions, so has been very common the last several years. This fungus thrives during wet years because it actually needs to swim in order to infect its host.

If you've had this issue in the past and are looking to avoid it this growing season, consider two factors when selecting a soybean variety: 1. Select a variety with a high "natural field tolerance" to fend off phytophthora; and 2. Look for the new gene, Rps 3a, developed to increase the plant's phytophthora resistance, by picking up race 25 phytophthora root rot, along with races 3 and 4.

In the past, this was the job of the Rps 1k gene. However due to an increase of other races of phytophthora, this new gene was developed to increase resistance to encompass more races than Rps 1k.

3. Depending on your geography consider iron chlorosis tolerance.

When soil pH is high, soybeans can be at risk for iron chlorosis. Due to the fact that there are certain negative components that are more prevalent in high pH soil...such as soluble salts! In areas of our region that have experienced wetter than normal conditions, we're seeing an increase in soluble salts and consequently iron chlorosis issues in soybeans.

To combat iron chlorosis, growers need to select tolerant soybean varieties.

4. You don't give up yield potential when selecting soybean cyst nematode resistant varieties.

For some growers, soybean cyst nematodes are old news. For others of you, they are a new issue - either way, they are a pest to consider when selecting soybean varieties.

When soybean cyst nematode resistant varieties first became available, growers experienced "yield drag" in order to get protection. This is no longer the case!

Today there is no yield drag, only yield protection when selecting soybean cyst nematode resistant varieties.

5. In dryer areas, consider taller stature soybean varieties.

For growers on the western edge of soybean producing areas, where drought can often become an issue, consider varieties with the capability to pod higher off the ground. This increases harvestability, even in drought conditions, when the plants don't grow as tall.

6. For more information, contact your local Legend Dealer for more information. To find a dealer near you call 800-678-3346.

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