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The ripple effect of early-season soybean management choices

March 14, 2016

Not every farm is the same, so it’s important to have an understanding of what’s happening both above and below the soil. Knowing which insects, diseases, nematodes and weeds are present in soybean fields will help growers prepare accordingly and maximize yields. Variety selection and weed management are two early-season factors that can have a ripple effect extending throughout the season.

Insect, disease and nematode management often starts with variety selection. Picking the right varieties goes a long way to maximizing yields at harvest.

Michigan State University Extension agronomists recommend planting a range of maturities to mitigate yield loss related to pest and environmental stressors and shattering at harvest. They also recommend growers rotate soybean varieties from year to year and from field to field. This practice can help prevent pests and nematodes from building up resistance to the genetic sources bred into the varieties.

NK® Soybean varieties are available in maturity groups 000 through VII. The range of maturities, genetics, disease and pest resistance options, and agronomic packages allows growers to choose a variety that is tailored for their growing environment, which ultimately helps combat the season’s challenges and grow more soybeans.

Another early management focus is weed control. Weeds compete for nutrients and sunlight that are essential to a crops’ success. Researchers with the University of Wisconsin Extension say managing early-season weeds helps to maximize growth, which causes soybeans to canopy more quickly. Planting into clean fields and using a residual pre-emergence herbicide also extends the timeframe for a post-emergence herbicide application. By taking the time to manage weeds earlier in the season, growers help to reduce the risk of more popping up later in the season.

Syngenta recommends that growers take the proper steps to ensure they’re planting into clean fields in 2016. Apply burndowns herbicides, if needed, and ensure fields are weed-free before planting. Additionally, spraying weeds again, before they reach 4 inches, is important.

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