By DEBORAH BEHRENDS
TOWANDA, Ill. — Larger soybean seeds added to the test weight, helping yields tremendously in this drought-stressed year, said Aaron Stover, son of producer Judson Stover.
The Stovers hosted a soybean plot on their McLean County, Ill., farm Farmer’s Independent Research of Seed Technologies (F.I.R.S.T.). With a test average of 51.7 bushels per acre, harvested plants were 24-30 inches tall.
F.I.R.S.T. Site Manager Eric Beyers said seed quality was excellent. Judson Stover said his bean field averaged about 52 bushels per acre.
The top-yielding variety in the test was LG Seeds C3220R2, with a yield of 56.4 bushels per acre. The moisture content was 15.5 percent, just above the 15.1 percent average for the entire plot.
The estimated gross income per acre for this variety was $871, well above the $799 average for the entire test plot.
The second-place variety was Asgrow AG3431, at 56.3 bushels per acre, 14.8 percent moisture and $871 gross income per acre. In third was FS Hisoy variety HS34A22 with a yield of 55.6 bushels, 14.6 percent moisture and $860 per acre.
The no-till soybeans followed corn, with Roundup applied previously. Beyers planted at a rate of 134,000 seeds per acre on May 9, and harvested 137,200 plants per acre on Oct. 17. While this doesn’t sound possible, he said it’s not a report error.
The plot, which was either no- or strip-tilled, still had a good deal of corn residue and the ground was rough, as well. Beyers explained the planter was calibrated correctly for 134,000 seeds per acre, but with the rough terrain “jiggling” the equipment as it rolled along, this meant slightly more distance. That is, the planter “thinks” it’s planting more than the one acre it’s actually covering because of these tiny up-and-down distances created by the terrain.
“If there’s any irregularities or bumps, it picks that up, and it translates into a longer distance,” he said. “That ground can be really hard and rough.”