COLUMBUS, Ohio — Not only did Ohio growers' soybean yields benefit from the good growing season, but test results from the 2004 Ohio Soybean Performance Trials weren't too shabby either.
Yield results from the tests, conducted by Ohio State University Extension agronomists, averaged 60 bushels per acre over six test sites with some areas clocking in at nearly 80 bushels per acre.
The Ohio Soybean Performance Trial results, which can be found at http://www.agcrops.osu.edu, are designed to help growers select soybean varieties for the following crop season. The trials test varieties based on yield, disease reaction, height, seed size, relative maturity, lodging and protein and oil content. This year's trials evaluated 175 varieties.
"Variety selection should be based on three major variety characteristics: performance history, tolerance and resistance to disease, and relative maturity," said Jim Beuerlein, an OSU Extension agronomist. "The varieties that performed well this year will likely be good performers next year if the growing conditions are similar."
Beuerlein recommends that growers use fungicide seed treatments on all soybean seed to help reduce stand loss and improve the health of the root system.
"We conducted a fungicide seed treatment study as part of the performance trials. Despite the fact that we had a good growing season, fungicides were still effective. They helped get the crops off to a better start," said Beuerlein. "The yield increases due to seed treatment are usually worth about three times more than the cost of the seed treatment."
Other planting recommendations include: planting short-season varieties first and late-season varieties last, and planting early and in narrow rows to increase yields. Seeding rates on dark-colored soils should be 150,000 to 175,000 seeds per acre, while seeding rates on light-colored soils should be 175,000 to 225.000 seeds per acre.