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Burtch variety tops out in NW Indiana soybean test
By ANN HINCH
Associate Editor

LA CROSSE, Ind. — Only one variety of soybeans broke the $1,000 per-acre mark of gross income this year during a seed test conducted by Farmer’s Independent Research of Seed Technologies (F.I.R.S.T.) on a northwestern Indiana farm.

Burtch Seed Co. variety 342R2 was the top-yielding of 48 tested on the La Crosse farm of Myron Schafer, in LaPorte County. It produced 65.6 bushels per acre with a gross per-acre income of $1,016.

Coming in second was Ebberts variety 2313RR2, at 61.1 bushels and $954 gross income per acre. Third was FS Hisoy variety HS 30A22, producing 59.4 bushels and $920 in gross income. Ebberts varieties also captured three more of the top 10 spots in this year’s test.

These outcomes stand against an overall average yield for all varieties tested of 51.3 bushels and $794 gross income per acre. Average moisture content was 13.6 percent.

Planted on May 14 at 170,000 seeds per acre, these soybeans were harvested Oct. 11 at 108,700 plants per acre. F.I.R.S.T. Site Manager Rich Schleuning said plant heights were all over the place instead of uniform, varying from 16 up to 36 inches high at harvest time. Curiously, he noted Schafer reported his own crop of non-test soybeans – which he irrigated – didn’t fare much better against the summer drought.

“With dry conditions this spring, we had to plant soybeans over two inches deep to find moisture,” Schleuning wrote in his report. “Late-season insect feeding on pods was evident. These pods had either no bean development or contained mold; some pods on plant bottoms were empty.”

Late-season pest feeding on plants can increase with drier conditions, he explained. “That can be typical for this kind of year.”
However, “plant health was good, as crop stood nice at harvest,” he added, noting lodging was very low.

For his part, Schleuning said he would rather cut a shorter plant when harvesting because the bean pods are closer together on the plant. For test purposes, these were also interesting because researchers could readily see differences in how the seed varieties responded to various similar stressors.

The Schafer farm was previously planted to corn and consists of sandy loam soil with fall tillage, well drained, with the test beans non-irrigated. The soil had a moderately high P and K content, with 6.3 percent acidity. Pest management was Touchdown.
For more details of this and other tests, visit www.firstseedtests.com
11/7/2012