Shift Your Soybean Mindset

November 14, 2018

Ask a typical Manitoba grower how their soybeans yielded and you’ll likely hear a number in the mid-thirties. Most growers are perfectly fine with hitting this five-year provincial average, but it’s nowhere near the yield potential of the crop.

According to Syngenta agronomist Eric Richter, that ‘just enough’ mindset needs to change. “It’s time for growers to move the soybean production needle forward,” he says.

Richter, the 2016 Certified Crop Advisor Award of Excellence recipient, has collected a wealth of production knowledge throughout his 30-plus-year career and sees an incredible opportunity to raise soybean standards.

Expect more from your soybean crop

A bin-busting crop doesn’t start with better seed or upgraded equipment – it starts with growers expecting more. Today, many are skeptical that anything they do will reliably boost their soybean yields.

Richter observes that it’s a very different attitude than many of these same growers have about their corn crop. Take stand establishment, for instance –  a grower will take action in a corn crop if the gap between what is seeded and the final stand is larger than 10%. But in soybeans, growers are willing to accept less stand. It’s not uncommon for there to be a 20% to 30% difference, he says.

The false notion that soybeans will ‘tough it out on their own’ is another perception that feeds into lack of management focus. In reality, soybeans are a complex crop with many unique factors (e.g. stand uniformity, pest control, weed management) to consider in order to produce a profitable crop.

Increase your focus on soybean management

Richter encourages growers to “manage with intensity and, where required, intensively.” In other words, increase the attention to detail in your soybean management and apply inputs strategically where necessary.

He recognizes that there are growers already thinking in these terms. “We acknowledge that many soybean growers are frustrated with their current soybean yields in their production system,” says Richter. “Most grower are wanting more, and frankly deserve more, as the genetic potential exists to achieve considerably higher on-farm yields.”

Richter and his colleagues at Syngenta are committed to helping growers on their quest to grow the best possible crop of soybeans, no matter what unique growing conditions occur.

“We’ll be there every step of the way to help address current challenges, provide agronomic support and, where suitable, offer product and service solutions that will help achieve your soybean production goals.”

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