Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Finalists for the 2016 WSA Soybean Yield Contest are Announced

The Wisconsin 2016 growing season was one for the record books indeed! The National Agricultural Statistics Service projects the statewide average soybean yield in WI to be a record of 55 BPA. Similarly overall production is expected to be another record at 107 million bushels. The great yields also led to a great contest. Please join me in congratulating the below finalists.

The top two entries in each division (listed in no particular order) were:

Division 4: 
  • Rick DeVoe, Monroe (planted DuPont Pioneer P31T77R)
  • Kevin Bahr, Belmont (planted Asgrow AG2535)
  • *WI Bean Team (Adam Gaspar, Steve Vosberg), Madison (planted DuPont Pioneer P28T33R)
*The WI Bean Team is ineligible for official prizes as they are grad students of Dr. Conley; however, their efforts are still unofficially recognized.  

Division 3:
  • Jim Salentine, Luxemburg (planted Steyer 1401L)
  • David Wilkens, Random Lake (planted NK S20-T6 Brand)
Division 2:
  • Thad Sparby, Arkdale (planted FS HiSOY HS 19A50) 
  • Irvin Osterloh, Arkdale (planted FS HiSOY HS 23L50) 
Division 1: 
  • Dawn Lundgren, Amery (planted Croplan R2C1400) 
  • David Lundgren, Amery (planted Croplan R2C1572) 
New for 2016 was the Soybean Quality Contest.  It was optional for any Soybean Yield Contest entrants.  There are no geographical divisions for the Quality Contest.  One cash award will be presented statewide to the highest protein plus oil yield per acre (measured in lbs. per acre). 

The finalists for the Soybean Quality Contest are:
  • Dawn Lundgren, Amery (planted Croplan R2C1400) 
  • Thad Sparby, Arkdale (planted FS HiSOY HS 19A50) 
The final ranking and awards will be presented at the 2017 Corn Soy Expo to be held at the Kalahari Convention Center, Wisconsin Dells on Thursday February 2nd during the WSA/WSMB annual meeting.

The contest is sponsored by the WI Soybean Program and organized to encourage the development of new and innovative management practices and to show the importance of using sound cultural practices in WI soybean production. 

For more information please contact Shawn Conley, WI State Soybean Specialist at 608-262-7975 or

Monday, November 14, 2016

New Traits Don't Automatically Translate to Highest Yield!

Last weeks announcement by the EPA to register Dicamba formulations for use on Dicamba Tolerant Crops has the soybean world abuzz and for once that buzz isn't about pollinators! Many of my weed scientist colleagues across the country will be discussing best management practices (BMP's) for introducing this technology into our agricultural landscape and will put forward recommendations to prolong the shelf-life of this technology. Here is one such example from UNL entitled: Understanding the Roundup Ready 2 Xtend SoybeanWeed Management System. ***Side bar....I decided to highlight this article since UNL never has any highlights in WI and Purdue and IL are like playing the J.V. squad.***

In this brief article I would just like to highlight four points to consider when making soybean variety selection choices for 2017. 
  1. New doesn't always mean it is automatically better. The WI Soybean program evaluated 200 RR2Y (Roundup Ready 2 YieldⓇ) and 47 RR2X (Roundup Ready 2 XtendⓇ) varieties in 2016. On average across all varieties and regions RR2Y out-yielded RR2X by a significant +1.8 BPA (Figure 1.)
  2. Remember every variety must stand on its own. Use independent trial data and pick varieties that not only perform well (we call them **starred varieties**) but also have the traits you are interested in (e.g. herbicide tolerance). Please see the 2016 Wisconsin Soybean Variety Performance Trials for individual variety performance as we have RR2X varieties starred in each region. 
  3. RR2X soybeans are a stack of herbicide traits and not yield traits (i.e... these traits protect yield, not enhance yield). Remember this point with all pest management traits!
  4. Hey Mr. Ivory Tower if I don't use this technology my yield loss will be a lot more than 1.8 bu per acre. I am fully aware of the amaranthus spp. train wreck across much of the corn belt and mid-south. We are starting to see herbicide resistance move across Wisconsin as well. I just want to reiterate #2 above that every variety must stand on its own as well as remind growers to use multiple modes of action and consider incorporating other traits such as Liberty Link soybeans into your soybean weed management plans. All of the data and models I have seen suggest that the Dicamba tolerant crops shelf-life will be much shorter than the original RR if we don't mange this technology correctly. 
    Figure 1. Pooled Herbicide Trait Performance Across WI