The Quest to Maximize Soybean Yield and Profitability in Manitoba!
WHAT IS IT:
Three teams have been tasked with selecting a unique soybean management strategy in the quest to be crowned the winner of the Ultimate Soybean Challenge (USC)! Winners will be determined in two categories: yield and profit. The goal is for each team to select crop management practices and inputs that represent different approaches farmers may take in soybean production.
WHERE & HOW:
Located once again at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) site in Portage la Prairie, side-by-side replicated randomized field trials were seeded on May 23. Soil characteristics, tillage prior to seeding, rolling, seeding date, and harvest date will be the same across treatments. All other management practices will be determined by the team leaders. Updates on crop progress and management will be provided throughout the growing season. Stay tuned to @MBPulseGrowers on Twitter for updates!
An 11-acre parcel of land previously seeded to tillage radish will be divided among the three soybean management strategies. The soil is an imperfectly drained Neuhorst clay loam with a pH of 8.4 and 6.9% organic matter. Soil test results were 33 lb/ac of nitrate-N (0-24 inches), 13 ppm of Olsen P, and 414 ppm of K. Soybeans were grown only in select plots across this field, meaning the majority of this field is virgin soybean ground.
MEET THE TEAMS & THEIR STRATEGIES:
Team A: Cassandra Tkachuk, MPSG Production Specialist, and Kristen Podolsky MacMillan, U of M Research Agronomist, aim to follow best management practices based on research, choosing practices and inputs that are most likely to maximize yield and net return.
Team B: Terry Buss, Manitoba Agriculture Farm Production Extension Specialist – Pulses, and Dennis Lange, Manitoba Agriculture Industry Development Specialist – Pulses, aim to maximize yield and net return by reducing the cost of big ticket items (e.g., seed) and spending more on small ticket items (e.g., herbicide).
Team C: Curtis Cavers, AAFC Agronomist, and John Heard, Manitoba Agriculture Soil Fertility Specialist, have chosen more novel practices to ensure differences in production across teams, and to alleviate concerns of a “home field advantage.”
|Team A - Cassandra||Team B - Terry||Team C - Curtis|
|Variety Selected||Akras R2||S007-Y4||OAC Prudence|
|Inoculant(s)||Liquid + granular||Liquid||Peat|
|Seed Treatment||None||CruiserMaxx Vibrance +|
Heads Up Plant Protectant (fungicide + insecticide)
|Evergol Energy (fungicide only)|
|Seeding Equipment||Air Seeder 9" spacing||Planter 30" spacing||Planter 30" spacing|
|Seeding Rate (seeds/ac)||190,000||150,000||150,000|
|Anticipated Weed Control||Pre-emergent residual herbicide (if needed) + 1-2 glyphosate passes, as needed||3 glyphosate passes||Rotary hoe + inter-row cultivation, in-crop herbicide if escapes unacceptable|
|Foliar Products||None||Radiate plant growth hormone||None|