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Choosing the Right Seed for 2022

11/23/2021

Choosing the Right Seed for 2022

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By Connor Charlton, B.Sc. (Agriculture)
Crop Sales Specialist
AGRIS Co-operative - Chatham

After a wet, difficult fall, the end of harvest 2022 is fast approaching. As you finish the last few rounds in the combine, it’s important to reflect on how your selection of corn and soybean varieties performed.

Plot data from this harvest showed strong trends and large yield spreads based on a variety of agronomic practices - a key factor being seed selection.

Although it’s impossible to make the winning choice every year, an educated decision can add to your profit margin upwards of $100/ac.

Corn

Plant Health

With the amount of precipitation received this summer, along with the introduction of tar spot, plant health played a huge role in final yields and test weights. In most scenarios, a fungicide pass paid dividends this year; however, in fields where no fungicide was applied, significant differences between hybrids were noted in overall plant health and stay-green in the later parts of the season. Tar spot will be an annual concern going forward, and the value of a hybrid with a strong plant health package will be amplified in future years.

Grain Quality

In southwestern Ontario, there was significant rainfall and heavy fog around silking time (R1). These are prime conditions for Gibberella ear rot to infect plants, which in turn results in the development of Deoxynivalenol (DON). This year the occurrence of DON in grain was not as severe as the weather suggested, however, there was a clear benefit in the use of fungicide to reduce DON levels. In general, selecting hybrids with shorter, loose husks that promote airflow into the ear reduces the potential of Gibberella infection.

Western Bean Cutworm feeding also contributes to poor grain quality, opening up potential sites for infection. Selecting hybrids with the Trecepta trait offers genetic resistance to WBC, giving growers peace of mind when trap counts begin to rise. We must be diligent in continuing to scout for this pest to verify product performance.

Stress Tolerance

The weather during late vegetative and early reproductive stages this year was stressful, to say the least. Hybrids with defensive traits that persisted through the heavy rainfalls, laying water, and nutrient loss seemed to excel at harvest this year, while the typical racehorses didn’t perform as expected under heavy stress.

Soybeans

Resistant Traits

White mould, brown stem rot, sudden death syndrome (SCN), phytophthora, and soybean cyst nematodes is a shortlist of the many diseases that plague soybeans every year. The occurrence of these diseases depends on the weather, soil types, crop rotation, and more. Selecting varieties that carry genes for phytophthora resistance and SCN increase the chances of protecting yield potential when pathogen pressures are high.

Keep note of any varieties that stood out this year as being exceptionally good or bad against certain pathogens.

Herbicide Traits

There are plenty of herbicide packages to choose from on the soybean front going into 2022 offering a wide variety of herbicide options to control tough, resistant weeds.

Clean fields are a major contributing factor in a successful crop. Be mindful of which herbicide package you’re choosing when selecting seed for the 2022 crop.

For simplicity, it is recommended to stick to the same trait package across the farm to minimize sprayer error. If you plan to use multiple trait packages, keep them on a field-by-field basis with a planter cleanout when switching traits.

Don’t hesitate to notify your AGRIS Crop Specialist to keep note of which fields have specific traits.

Seed Treatment

With the market price of soybeans staying at strong levels, it costs less bushels than ever before to see a return on advanced seed treatment options. These treatments help combat soil-borne pathogens and insects which gives the plant a better chance at producing higher yields.

Ilevo and Saltro offer below-ground protection against soybean cyst nematodes–a pest that can reduce yield by as much as 30% on heavily infested ground.

A wide variety of fungicides, insecticides, and inoculants are also available to protect your yield potential.

Summary

These factors are key to making the right seed selection for your farm.

It is important to take a field-by-field approach when making seed decisions.

Don’t hesitate to contact your local AGRIS Co-operative branch to discuss the seed solutions we offer.

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