Soybean growers can consider expanding options for the 2017 crop

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest As soybean farmers hit the fields for harvest this fall their thoughts will inevitably drift to variety selection for the 2017 crop. The options for soybeans in 2017 are more diverse than ever in several different ways.High oleicThere is expanding interest in planting high oleic soybeans. Ohio soybean farmers were the first to plant high oleic soybeans more than five years ago and this summer they took their message to the streets of Findlay. To showcase the many attributes of high oleic, the event featured local restaurants offering foods cooked in high oleic soybean oil and gave farmers the opportunity to learn more about adding high oleic varieties to their 2017 plans.The key message of the day was that the end result of using high oleic soybean oil is a higher quality product for consumers and a premium for farmers.“It certainly made an impact on the edible oil market and the market share that soybeans will continue to have,” said John Motter, a Hancock County soybean grower who was among the first farmers to grow high oleic soybeans. “U.S. soybean farmers used to enjoy an 82% market share of the world’s edible oils market, but that has declined over the years to where we now we are around 60% of the edible oil market and that has been replaced by healthier imported oils like canola and sunflower that are high oleic. High oleic oil in soybeans helps us to regain that market share for farmers here domestically.”Bill Vonderau, grain buyer for Bunge, has seen a dramatic increase in interest from farmers in high oleic soybean production.“We saw last fall when we signed up growers for the 2016 season we had to turn people away just because we didn’t have enough seed. They produce very well. They are on par with yields of regular beans and the 40- or 50-cent premium is a real boost in today’s ag economy,” Vonderau said. “All they have to do is make sure they segregate their seed when they plant and store it separately. We offer quite a few delivery points in Ohio and also at our processing plant in Delphos. We have options for the farmer to deliver in the fall as well as out of their bin for an extra 10-cent premium. Our job is to make it as easy for the producer to fulfill their contracts as possible.”High oleic beans also got a boost this summer when the European Union approved three biotech soybean traits for import and processing, including Vistive Gold high oleic soybean products from Monsanto. More EU approvalsThe newly EU-approved traits also included the Xtend dicamba-tolerant soybean and the Balance GT FG72 soybean from Bayer CropScience. American Soybean Association (ASA) president Richard Wilkins welcomed the news, but noted that improvements still are needed in the timeliness of EU approvals.The three soybean events had received positive scientific opinions from the European Food Safety Agency over a year before they were approved, and had been waiting for final approval by the EU Commission since January.“We are very relieved to see these three traits approved for import into the European Union, as [the] announcement represents a clearing of an important hurdle for the commercialization of these valuable products in the U.S. In Europe, the approval means that the EU’s livestock and feed industry, which is more than 70% dependent on imported feed, can get the high-quality protein it needs,” Wilkins said. “In the U.S., American farmers need an ever-increasing range of tools to tackle the challenge of resistant weeds that now impact nearly every soy-growing state. Similarly, with the continuing move away from trans-fats in American diets, farmers need additional tools to produce soybeans that meet that market demand as well.”Wilkins is hopeful that the EU approval process can improve to more quickly move soybeans traits forward in the future.“We hope that we can take solid steps to ensure that the approvals of new biotech traits in our major markets continues to improve but there is still work to be done,” he said. “Given the commoditized nature of our soybeans, we simply can’t take the risk that unapproved traits make their way into the grain export stream and result in rejected shipments abroad. But the longer and more tedious that process is, the more barriers stand between soybean farmers and their productivity, and the less incentive our technology partners have to bring these new products to market.” Improved disease resistanceIn addition to traits, Ohio soybean production in 2017 also needs to include some varieties with disease resistance based on the problems that have plagued yields in 2016.“In Ohio, we face many challenges and some of them were quite apparent in different parts of the state — frogeye leaf spot, sudden death syndrome (SDS), white mold and even more surprising, Phytophthora stem rot. To add to this soybean cyst nematode (SCN) can now be found at detectable and higher levels than 20 years ago. There is very good resistance to all of these pathogens in the soybean cultivar line up of all companies,” said Anne Dorrance, Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist. “We sometimes just get the wrong genetics in the wrong field or in the wrong region. So it is time for folks to take these things seriously and know what fields these pathogens are in and how much damage they are causing. A good scouting at the end of the year will give producers a handle on if the variety they purchased had the right resistance package for Ohio’s plethora of pathogens. If pathogens are present, what resistance packages will be needed in future years?”Dorrance said with Phytophthora, the Rps genes will only go so far and the quantitative resistance portion of the package (seed companies market this as tolerance and partial resistance) is critical. Varieties with resistance to SDS have really improved and should be strongly considered if that problem showed up in 2016 fields.“Resistance to SDS has come a long way,” she said. “In our trial this year (North Central Soybean Research Program), only the susceptible checks developed symptoms — very impressive.”SCN problems can also be addressed with varietal resistance.“How long have you been growing SCN resistant varieties with PI88788 and do you now have SCN? If the answer to this is a long time and a lot, you are past due for a genetic change to Peking sources,” Dorrance said. “These aren’t easy to find, so start your search now.”Frogeye leaf spot is also becoming increasingly common in Ohio.“Frogeye seems to be a recurring theme for a disease that really was never a problem before 2005,” she said. “With lower soybean prices, it is time to get away from depending on the sprays and moving towards eliminating this disease by planting more resistant varieties. I have had side-by-side trials of resistant and susceptible varieties the last two years at the Western Branch — resistance is winning hands down.”White mold showed up in some Ohio soybeans this year as well.“The resistance is there so for those regions where this disease is now an annual occurrence — even in a dry, humid 2016,” Dorrance said. “Choose varieties with higher levels of resistance.”last_img