Fall activity continues this week with interruptions of rain showers slowing the process around the state and another band expected in the next few days. Yield reports from individual growers suggest that soybean yield will approach average across the whole state with some areas detrimentally impacted by difficult spring conditions and others by late dry and localized hail damage.
When watching your yield monitors, keep in mind that single year data is never the best information when thinking about what to plant next year. As with yield trial data, where multiple location – multiple year yields will be a better prediction of stable yield performance, use your yield monitor information carefully comparing with several past year’s information on individual cultivar field performance if possible.
A strong or poor performer on your fields this year may show yield response to environmental and pest stresses as well as genetic potential. Use your yields across several years just as you would with yield trial data to determine how cultivars might perform well on your farm for next year seed decisions.
The Production Action Team has released the Request For Proposals (RFP) to researchers and tech transfer specialists for proposals for the 2015-2016 cycle. This year, the needs put forth in the RFP were determined by farmer priorities identified through county soybean meetings and surveys conducted at several field plot days around the state. The production action team is directed by the strategic plan to focus on projects toward increasing yield 10% over trend line in the next five years for Minnesota soybean growers and utilizing check off investments in scientific research and technology transfer to continue to help growers maximize profit.
The 2014 investment in research and tech transfer encompassed 21 projects ranging from focus in genetic improvement to improved insect and pest management and control as well as focus on specific information delivery for SCN, weed and pest IPM, herbicide resistant weed control options and soil health. The action team goals for next year will continue to focus on farmer determined assessment to address regionally specific questions as well as issues that affect soybean growers across the state.
As you travel across your fields this harvest season take a few moments to write down observations, particularly concerning areas where a component of your production system presents a question or problem you don’t have an answer for. When the fall harvest season concludes, I’d like to receive and include those lists with our ongoing needs assessment for the next year. Our (the Production Action Team) goal is to efficiently utilize check off funding for research and information delivery for the benefit of Minnesota farmers. One of the best ways for us to do that is to hear from you as to what those unanswered questions are on your farms. Collect your thoughts during some free moments this harvest and let us know how we can continue to serve Minnesota soybean growers by finding the best information and options available.
Dr. Paul Meints is the Director of Research at Minnesota Soybean and has an MS in plant breeding and genetics and a PhD in Seed Physiology.