By TIM ALEXANDER
BELLEVILLE, Ill. — The Barttelborts of St. Clair County in Illinois were pleasantly surprised by a soybean harvest in a 2012 Better Varieties test conducted on their land by Farmer’s Independent Research of Seed Technologies (F.I.R.S.T.).
The all-season test averaged 54 bushels per acre and was paced by FS Hisoy’s HS 42A12 brand, with the high yield of 61.9 bushels per acre and a gross income per-acre of $960.
“We weren’t really sure what was going to happen” with soybean yields in 2012, said John Barttelbort, who farms with his father, Don, near Belleville in southeastern Illinois.
“We had such a stretch of dry weather. We did get a couple of light rains and the soybeans greened up. Somehow, they produced better than we had thought, and some were exceptionally good. We were at or above normal on soybeans.”
Don was also pleasantly surprised with the family’s good soybean yields in spite of a drought year, according to Eric. Beyers, F.I.R.S.T. test site manager. “Harvested plants ranged in height from 36 to 60 inches,” Beyers reported. “Fuller-maturity soybeans were yielding better.”
Finishing second in the trial, which began with the seeding of 139,000 seeds per acre on May 15 and concluded Oct. 25, was Dairyland’s DSR-4850R2Y variety with 61 bushels per acre and $946 in gross income per acre. NK Brand S46-A1 placed third with 59.8 bushels and a gross income of $927.
The report’s conclusions served as an affirmation to the Barttelborts that they had been selecting the right soybean hybrid for their operation all along. “We get all of our seed through FS,” said John Barttelbort. “We planted FS Hisoy on fields not used for the F.I.R.S.T. seed test, and some yields were in the high 60s.”
Other farmers in the area were not as fortunate with their soybean yields as the Barttelborts, who plant strictly on a back-to-back rotation and eschew corn-on-corn production.
Finishing fourth, fifth and sixth in the test were Pfister 43R29, Channel 4806R2/STS and Steyer 4203R2, respectively. Moisture averaged 11.7 percent and lodging just 1 percent for all varieties tested.
A complete list of the 58 brands tested and their performance is available at www.firstseedtests.com