Soybean seed treatment proves to be cost-effective

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COLUMBUS – One hundred and seventy-five soybean varieties were evaluated in the 2004 Ohio Soybean Performance Trials conducted by The Ohio State University.
There were two test sites in each of three test regions representing north, central and southern Ohio.
Varieties from 31 companies were evaluated for yield, disease reaction, height, seed size, relative maturity, lodging, and protein and oil content.
Diversity. In 2004, 149 of the varieties were Roundup Ready and 22 were normal varieties. Many of the normal varieties were experimental lines. Table 1 contains the range and mean of the characteristics measured.
Variety selection should be based on three major variety characteristics: Performance history, tolerance and resistance to disease, and relative maturity.
The varieties that performed well last year will likely be good performers next year if the growing conditions are similar. Since every soybean field in the state is infected with disease, we need to choose varieties with resistance and/or tolerance to those diseases.
If the weather and soil conditions are suitable for infection, our crop will get infected.
Fungicide seed treatments should be used on all soybean seed to reduce stand loss due to root rot disease and to improve the health of the root system and thus yield loss due to root rot diseases.
The yield increase due to seed treatment is usually worth about three times more than the cost.
Maturity. Selecting a wide range of maturities will reduce losses due to adverse weather, allow for more timely harvest, increased grain quality and reduced harvest-time stress.
Plant the short-season varieties first and the late varieties last.
Both early planting and narrow rows increase yield.
Seeding rates. Seeding rates on dark-colored soil should be 150,000 to 175,000 seeds per acre. Seeding rates on light-colored soil should be 175,000 to 225,000 seeds per acre.

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