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For Western Canadian Soybean Growers

Issue 13 / Spring 2015


The Earliest

NSC Moosomin RR2Y

NorthStar Genetics’ earliest maturing soybean variety!

With NSC Moosomin RR2Y, our earliest maturing soybean variety, you can be confident in growing successful soybeans in Saskatchewan. At NorthStar Genetics, we know beans! www.weknowbeans.com

© NorthStar Genetics 2014 ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Roundup Ready® crops contain genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup® brand agricultural herbicides. Roundup® brand agricultural herbicides will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate. Genuity and Design®, Genuity Icons, Genuity®, Roundup Ready 2 Yield®, Roundup Ready®, Roundup WeatherMAX®, and Roundup® are trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC, Monsanto Canada, Inc. licensee. Respect the Refuge and Design is a registered trademark of the Canadian Seed Trade Association. Used under license. ©2012 Monsanto Canada, Inc.


Table of Contents Publisher Ray Wytinck NorthStar Genetics Editor Jenny Flaman jenny@impactgr.com

The Greatest Year Yet pg 3 Meat and Beans pg 4

Art Director Kate Klassen kate@impactgr.com

New Defense for Soybean Disease pg 8

Copy Editors Chantelle Andrukow Heidi Brown Vicki Manness

There’s No Replacement for Heat pg 12

Contributors Andrea Hilderman Ron Friesen John Dietz Gina Borhot Sarah Foster Photographers Anita Anseeuw

Printed by Transcontinental Imaging For another copy of Growing Soybeans call 204-262-2424 or e-mail kperfumo@northstargenetics.com For a digital copy visit weknowbeans.com

Cold Tolerance in Soybeans pg 14 Do You Need a Drone? pg 16 Early Western Canadian Soybean Production Results for 2014 pg 22 A First-Time Soybean Story pg 25 Welcome Soy Canada pg 28 Foster’s Focus pg 31


Unconditional

NSC Vito RR2Y

The soybean that can excel in tough conditions.

NSC Vito RR2Y is a tall-standing variety that pods early and high. This means you are going to harvest every pod even if you have rolling land, uneven surfaces, or rocks. You name it, this variety will handle it. At NorthStar Genetics, we know beans! www.weknowbeans.com

© NorthStar Genetics 2014 ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Roundup Ready® crops contain genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup® brand agricultural herbicides. Roundup® brand agricultural herbicides will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate. Genuity and Design®, Genuity Icons, Genuity®, Roundup Ready 2 Yield®, Roundup Ready®, Roundup WeatherMAX®, and Roundup® are trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC, Monsanto Canada, Inc. licensee. Respect the Refuge and Design is a registered trademark of the Canadian Seed Trade Association. Used under license. ©2012 Monsanto Canada, Inc.


The Greatest Year Yet

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nother Western Canadian winter is coming to an end and it’s time to start looking forward to the warmth of spring and the potential for a great growing season. We can’t say at this point what the weather will bring us, but this is the time to strive for the best crop possible. The beauty of spring is that it brings a fresh start and new opportunities. This could be the year that is looked back on as a marker for great production. This could be the year of record-breaking yields and great profits.

To achieve the greatest production year to date, the most important place to start is with the seeding. One of the most important aspects of seeding is soil temperature. In this issue we are going to arm you with everything you need to know about soil temperature to ensure your crop has the best chances from the start.

We’ve also looked into some new technologies that could help your growing season run smoothly. Bayer has a new fungicide product for the 2015 growing season. We’ve profiled this product to determine whether or not it will be a value to Western Canadian soybean growers this season.

Along the same lines, Dr. Ramona Mohr of Ag Canada is doing a study to test the relative cold tolerance between varieties, which is important in understanding which varieties will work best in specific climates. We will share with you some of what she has learned.

Drones have become a new farming trend, but will drones really add to your farming operation? We’ve asked this question and have the scoop on drones for the Western Canadian soybean grower. As soybeans are still a new crop for Saskatchewan, we want to provide as much information as we can for potential Saskatchewan soybean growers. For this issue, we talked to a first-time soybean grower team from southeast Saskatchewan to hear about their experience. As always, please feel free to contact us with your soybean topic ideas or features and we’ll be sure to consider them for future issues. With much more inside, we hope this issue of Growing Soybeans starts off your season with healthy soybean practices. Happy seeding!

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Meat and Beans By Ron Friesen

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If growers feel soybean prices did well this past year, they should thank their four-footed farm friends for helping out. Red-hot livestock prices and a shortage of soybean meal in the United States combined to support soybean prices in North America last year. Vegetable oil prices were soft, but a strong demand for meal pulled oil prices along in its wake and kept overall prices strong, analysts say. Soybean meal is a key ingredient in certain livestock rations, which means farm animals are doing their bit to assist soybean growers. “Global oil prices are soggy and have been for quite some time,” said John Duvenaud, a market analyst with Duvenaud Associates in Winnipeg. “But the meal market is super strong and it’s been carrying soybeans along for the last year. It’s been a mealdriven market. “The reason is the livestock industry is doing well and making good money,” Duvenaud added. “They’re buying soybean meal with both hands and keeping the market up. And that’s what’s keeping soybeans up.” Analysts say U.S. soybean meal supplies were tight during 2014 because of aggressive American soybean exports coupled with the after effects of a severe Midwest drought the

previous year. Demand for soybean meal is growing among livestock producers as hog farmers begin to rebuild their herds after an outbreak of porcine epidemic diarrhea reduced production. Soybeans don’t influence livestock prices directly, especially in Western Canada, because the acreage here is too small to have an effect. “We’re hardly a blip in the overall picture. We’re a very small piece in a very large puzzle in that regard,” said Jonathon Driedger, a market analyst with FarmLink Marketing Solutions in Winnipeg. That said, the demand for soybeans continues to grow, partly because of increased meat consumption in major markets such as China, Driedger said. “Overall, populations are growing and incomes are growing. That’s good for meat consumption, so there’s a demand for the meal and also for the oil,” said Driedger. “Over a longer period of time, I think we can confidently say the trend is for bigger demand as we go forward.” The amount of soybean meal contained in livestock feed depends on the animal. Feeder cattle consume relatively little soybeans in their rations, which are heavily slanted toward barley and corn. Canola is the oilseed of choice in feeding dairy cattle because its meal is known to boost milk production. But soybeans are becoming increasingly popular in poultry and swine rations, especially as the crop gains a greater foothold in Western Canada. “I would say 100 percent of rations for pigs in Manitoba

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has soybean meal in it,” said Robyn Harte, a swine specialist for Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development. According to a report by livestock analyst Janet Honey, Manitoba’s pig industry in 2013 used almost 2 million tonnes of feed. Of that, very rough estimates show over 200,000 tonnes of soybean meal were used in pig rations. Soybeans are valued as a feedstuff because of their high meal and protein content. According to the Canadian Grain Commission, soybeans average 40 percent protein, compared to only 20 percent for canola. When crushed, soybeans yield roughly 20 percent oil and 80 percent meal, while canola produces 40 percent oil and 60 percent meal. As a result, a strong market for meal, such as what occurred this past year, makes soybeans more competitive than other oilseeds because of a higher meal content. Ironically, even though soybean acreage is expanding in Western Canada, most soybean meal is imported because of a lack of processing capacity here. Manitoba has only three small soybean processors serving the local market. The vast majority of processed soybeans for livestock feed are brought in from mills in either the U.S. or Eastern Canada. Industry officials agree it would be much more economical to process soybean feed at home rather than importing it. A weaker Canadian dollar makes imports more expensive, while transportation fees to truck feed up from the U.S. only add to the cost. “That’s the big issue: as soon as they start processing more here and servicing the domestic market,” said Andrew Dickson, general manager of the Manitoba Pork Council, “hopefully we’ll be able to stop importing soybean meal, start paying in Canadian dollars and avoid currency fluctuations. And pay less transportation costs because it’s grown here.” Officials agree the industry would like to see a major soybean crusher located in Western Canada. On the surface, that would make sense since soybeans are the fastest growing crop in Manitoba and starting 6

to expand into Saskatchewan. However, analysts agree the oilseed crushing industry is very competitive and soybean acreage in the West is still too small to warrant such a large investment. “Those plants need economies of scale to be competitive,” said Driedger. “We don’t have the kind of production that would come close to justify the investment you would need to have a plant that could compete.” Industry officials are hesitant to say how many acres of soybeans Western Canada would need to entice a large crusher to build a plant here. Privately, some suggest Western soybean acreage could reach 6 to 8 million acres in 10 years at the current rate of expansion, which would make a crushing plant more feasible. But that would mean the soybean frontier would have to expand much further west and north into non-traditional growing regions of Saskatchewan and Alberta. And that would require more shorter season varieties with lower heat units. Analysts say there’s a risk in pushing the growing periphery too far before the genetics can catch up. “At this point, I would say we’re probably not there yet,” said Chris Ferris, a market analyst with Informa Economics in Winnipeg. “But if we keep expanding acres the way we are now, I would see that it could make sense to throw in a crush plant here at some point in the future.” Ferris says one possibility is to turn an existing canola crushing plant into a swing plant that can also crush soybeans. But a lot depends on the technology of the plant. Swing plants work best when they are designed to operate that way. Retrofitting a canola plant to accommodate soybeans is more difficult. So for now, most soybeans grown in Western Canada go for export while most soybean meal is imported. But that could change, especially if livestock herds increase in size and create a demand for more locally grown soybean feed. “If you saw a real meaningful ramp up in those herds over the course of a couple of years, that could increase the demand for soybean meal,” Driedger said.


Most soybeans grown in Western Canada go for export while most soybean meal is imported. But that could change, especially if livestock herds increase in size and create a demand for more locally grown soybean feed.

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New Defense for Soybean Disease By John Dietz

Bayer has introduced a new fungicide, Delaro, for the 2015 growing season. What separates this fungicide from other soybean fungicides?

At some point, the honeymoon that Manitoba soybean growers have been enjoying will come to a close. Foliar diseases will arrive, and crop protection companies like Bayer CropScience will be on the scene, ready to protect the high-value oilseed. A surprise for 2015 is the release of a widespectrum, long-lasting fungicide called Delaro. Delaro joins a pack of 17 other fungicides already on the scene in Manitoba for soybean foliar diseases, but it’s unique for a couple reasons.

Ahead of time Delaro has been released by Bayer about one or two years ahead of the marketing plan. “We announced this a little ahead of schedule,” says Jared Veness. Bayer cereal and pulse marketing manager for Western Canada. “How often does that happen?” The process began a few years ago, as Western Canadian growers started shooting for the million-acre mark in soybeans. Bayer executives took note and began development of a fungicide for the new pulse and soybean market.

Photo courtesy of Manitoba Pulse Growers Association 8

“We were very keen on finding a solution for pulse growers. In Western Canada, our original primary directive was to look for something for lentils, peas, and chickpeas. At the same time, our eastern people were looking for a product for soybeans,” he says.


Globally, one of Bayer’s largest fungicide markets is in South America. Testing in Brazil of Bayer’s leading fungicide called Fox, showed that it could be a perfect fit for several of Canada’s foliar diseases in both markets. “We had to define the best rate at which it fits, and works, on diseases in Western Canada,” Veness says. “To be honest, it’s a little unique for soybeans in Western Canada. But, we’ve had trials with this product in Western Canada and had great results.” When internal performance trials wrapped up, Bayer submitted the data to the PMRA regulators for consideration. “The PMRA, who are the regulatory body for analyzing the safety and efficacy of pesticides in Canada, delivered the registration on time as expected,” Veness says. A second process, normally taking two years, required Bayer to establish maximum residue limits for exports to countries that buy lentils, peas, and chickpeas. Veness says, “It turned out that the residues (of Delaro) were at non-detectable levels. We didn’t have to go through the two-year process of establishing those limits.” As a result, in early October, Bayer announced that it will sell Delaro in 2015. “It’s a couple years ahead of schedule, earlier than we initially planned,” Veness says. “Our job now is to try to raise awareness as quick as we can. Under normal circumstances, we would have showcased this new fungicide in 2014 across Western Canada in sales demonstrations and research permits.” The 2015 agenda for Veness will definitely showcase Delaro in sales demonstrations and yield strip trials.

Two products Delaro will be released in Western Canada for the 2015 growing season for applications in both soybeans and pulse crops, Bayer announced in October.

“Data and field performance for this new product have demonstrated [the] first class disease control growers have come to expect…Delaro is a broad-spectrum fungicide for peas, lentils, chickpeas, and soybeans. It delivers exceptional and longlasting control of all major stem, pod, and leaf diseases that challenge today’s pulse and soybean growers, providing higher yields and improved quality.” For peas and lentils, field testing was done on the Prairies between 2011 and 2013 under a wide range of disease pressures. On peas in 15 trials, Delaro averaged a 38 percent yield boost compared to untreated checks. Applied on lentils in 19 trials, Delaro delivered an average 70 percent more than untreated checks. Delaro combines two dynamic and complementary active ingredients, prothioconazole (group 3) and trifloxystrobin (group 11). The combination offers long-lasting disease protection, according to Bayer. Meanwhile, in Eastern Canada at the same time, Bayer announced the release of a second, identical fungicide with a different name. Stratego PRO fungicide has the same two actives. It is positioned for the eastern market as treating a wide range of diseases in soybeans and winter wheat, and as an upgrade to an already widely used product in Eastern Canada, Stratego. “With the addition of prothioconazole, Stratego PRO provides both preventive and post infection disease control. Like trusted Stratego, it has two distinct modes of action,” said Christopher Turcot, Bayer portfolio manager, row crops. According to Bayer, Stratego Pro attacks fungal metabolism and prevents spore germination to provide a long-lasting barrier against diseases. “On winter wheat, the fungicide provides control against septoria leaf blotch and powdery mildew. In soybeans, Stratego PRO controls Asian soybean rust, frogeye leaf spot, and brown spot and suppresses

white mould, charcoal rot and stem blight,” Bayer announced.

Wide spectrum Eastern Manitoba market development specialist for Bayer, Harold Brown, describes Delaro as “a very nice product with two built-in modes of action.” Brown has done large scale trials with fungicide for four years and has used Delaro in trials for two years. “Typically, I get enough response to pay back the fungicide. At other times, you get much more,” he says. Compared to untreated checks, Brown has recorded an average yield benefit of 8 percent in soybeans treated with Delaro. “I think there is a low level disease issue. We’ve got a product with activity across lots of diseases and it’s maybe keeping those diseases at bay to the end of the season. Soybeans need that optimum condition to reach the highest yields,” he says. Next year, with new registration in hand, he plans to enter Delaro against competitors in third-party fungicide trials. Brown’s conclusion, thus far, is that soybean growers need to try it themselves. “Growers who have been growing soybeans for a number of years and getting good average yields, should try Delaro on their own farm just to see how it responds. Don’t spray the whole farm, but try it on those acres where they have more intensive soybean production.” Eastern Canada senior field development representative for Bayer, Allan Kaastra, develops fungicides for soybeans, corn, and wheat. Delaro has already been compared in Eastern Canada to competitors Acapela and Headline. Kaastra says, “In our results, it stands up very well against them. We have a stronger list of diseases on our label, and we’re very 9


confident in our levels of control. It has very broad spectrum disease control and performs really well on white mould and powdery mildew.”

What’s the problem? The general recommendation of agronomists is that fungicides should not be sprayed in the absence of disease pressure. Soybeans can develop several common foliar diseases, but all of them are rare to non-existent in Manitoba to this point, and none of them are causing any consistent yield loss.

Septoria brown spot is common already on Manitoba soybeans. You see it often, but it’s not severe. Provincial field crop pathologist, Holly Derksen, says, “We’re still in our honeymoon period with soybeans. As far as foliar diseases go, we haven’t had any issues.” The biggest disease issue in soybeans in Manitoba at the end of 2014 was root rot.

In 2015, Priaxor from BASF will be available for white mould suppression in soybeans. There are also two bio-fungicides registered for suppression of white mould in soybeans – Contans and Serenade Max or CPB. Contans is a pre-seed treatment of the soil and Serenade is an in-crop treatment. Septoria brown spot, downy mildew, and white mould (also known as sclerotinia stem rot) are the more likely foliar diseases that could hit a Manitoba soybean.

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“Personally, I haven’t encountered it at high levels. It’s the same disease, the sclerotinia, that affects canola. It typically infects through flower petals,” she says. “It’s a lot harder for the disease to get into soybeans and to infect it at the right time, than it is for infecting canola.” If a grower thinks he could justify a fungicide application, of any kind, in 2015 for protection of his new soybeans from white mould, Derksen adds a further caution, “Timing is tricky for soybeans. You don’t always get the protection you want. You want to hit while it’s flowering but before the canopy closes, because the flowers then aren’t accessible,” she says.

Delaro joins a list of 17 fungicides registered for suppression or control of soybean diseases. (See the 2014 Guide to Crop Protection, Table 5, page 328, Foliar Fungicides for Disease Control in Oilseed Crops). www. gov.mb.ca/agriculture/ crops/guides-andpublications/pubs/ crop-protection-guidedisease.pdf In 2013, only one product, Acapela, was registered for suppression of white mould in soybeans in Western Canada. During the growing season a second product, Allegro, was registered for control of white mould in soybeans.

Some growers in wet years reported seeing white mould, but Derksen questions whether it would have been worth a fungicide application at upwards of $10 an acre.

The pathologist tells Growing Soybeans, “As far as fungal diseases are concerned, they haven’t been an issue where you’re contemplating yield loss. They haven’t caused any yield losses to measure, really.” She adds, “There probably isn’t any need for growers to be spraying unless we get a really wet year where we really see an outbreak of white mould.”

White mould White mould, according to some reports, became an issue for Manitoba soybean growers in 2013.

Still, the pathologist welcomes Delaro as a wide spectrum fungicide with dual action, ready for the end of the honeymoon. “It’s definitely good that they use the two chemistries. It’s good to have more than one chemistry, especially if you spray every year. As we grow more soybeans here, eventually you will have a period where diseases are more widespread and more severe.” Veness notes, cases of resistant soybean pathogens were documented in the United States in 2014. “This highlights the need for multiple-mode of action fungicides.”


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There’s No Replacement for Heat By Andrea Hilderman

Soil temperature is one of the most important things to consider when seeding. With insights from a new study being done in Saskatchewan and an experienced Manitoba grower, here are some guidelines for monitoring the right seeding soil temperature. 12


Soybeans are continuing their seemingly unstoppable march west on the Prairies. And in so doing, they are demanding attention from researchers to understand and provide the best possible agronomic advice to new growers as they take on the challenge of this new and exciting crop. Garry Hnatowich, research director at the Irrigation Crop Diversification Corp (ICDC) in Outlook, Saskatchewan is one of those researchers who are turning their attention to soybean agronomy. “There is no history of growing soybeans in Saskatchewan,” explains Hnatowich. “Our guys are looking over the fence and seeing a million acres of soybeans in Manitoba. Maybe this is a crop that can replace peas that have been hit hard in recent years with disease as a result of excessive moisture.” Manitoba has some obvious advantages when it comes to growing soybeans, receiving more heat units and more precipitation than Saskatchewan. But soybeans can and do grow in Saskatchewan. ICDC has been running variety screening trials since 2006, but up until quite recently, the varieties available were not really adapted for production in the province. “Now we are seeing earlier maturing varieties enter the market,” says Hnatowich. “These new varieties have much wider production potential for Saskatchewan, so now we have to focus our energies on soybean agronomics.” The starting point is to again look over the fence to Manitoba and take guidance from what has been learned there over the last decade or more. “The 000 to 00.5 maturity classes are likely the best adapted for growth in Saskatchewan, but they still take 125 days to mature,” says Hnatowich. “That’s a long season crop for us where flax is considered a late maturing crop requiring 110 frost free days to mature. So, our producers are heavily incented to plant soybeans early and that’s where our work on soil temperature comes into play.” “Ten degrees centigrade at the depth of planting is the magic number,” says Hnatowich. “Additionally, in Saskatchewan, producers have a long tradition of planting

into moisture. We’ll plant peas as deep as necessary to get them into moisture, but the problem with soybeans is they may emerge from deeper seeding depths, but they won’t do well.”

The trials overall were given every opportunity for success and the soil given every opportunity to come up to temperature as quickly as possible with a light tillage operation to blacken the surface.

Hnatowich believes it may be better to seed into dryer ground and hope for rain versus seeding 2 or 2.5 inches deep into moisture only to watch the soybeans struggle.

“At the first seeding date, the soil temperature measured just a hair shy of 10 degrees Celsius,” says Hnatowich. “The problem, however, was likely that it was only at 10 degrees for a very short time. The nights were still dropping below zero, so the soil was less than 10 degrees for most of a 24-hour day, and that is evident in the emergence data.”

Once soybeans are seeded they imbibe soil moisture very rapidly and can swell up over 50 percent in just a couple of hours. That triggers the germination process, however, not until the soil moisture temperature is at least 9 degrees Celsius. “This is where the 10 degree Celsius recommendation for soil temperature at seeding has originated from,” explains Hnatowich. “Our current research project involves looking at six seeding dates starting at the first week of May and then at sevenday intervals until the second week of June,” explains Hnatowich. “In 2014, we started seeding on May 9, 2014 as soon as conditions permitted.” At each seeding date there are two treatments – seed treated only with inoculant (liquid and granular) and seed treated with inoculant and a seed treatment product. The variety 23-10RY was used as this is considered the early maturing check variety in Saskatchewan. Plant emergence and plant population counts were made on all the plots as well as yield evaluations. Total pods per plant and pod counts based on the number of seeds in pods were also taken. “We have only one year of data, so it’s important to keep that in mind as you read about some of the results,” says Hnatowich. “We will be continuing this trial for another two years.” One of the first observations was that the number of plants that emerged increased almost linearly from the first to the last seeding date. As the soil temperature increased so too did emergence and plant populations. “The first seeding date had only 30 percent emergence whereas the last seeding date of June 12, 2014 saw 85 percent emergence,” says Hnatowich. “Obviously, 30 percent is not acceptable by anyone’s measure of success.”

As the seeding dates progressed, the soil temperature was at 10 degrees Celsius for longer and longer. “What this means for growers is they have to combine soil temperature data with dates and with weather patterns,” says Hnatowich. “It is important to have a sense of how quickly the soil is cooling at night and how quickly it’s getting back to 10 degrees the next day.”

The Manitoba Perspective Rick Rutherford, his wife Janice, and three children farm 5,500 acres just north west of Winnipeg, Manitoba. He has over 15 years of experience growing soybeans for seed. “In the early days, we started seeding soybeans when the soil temperature reached 15 degrees Celsius,” says Rutherford. “Now, we’re seeing soybeans go in when the soil temperature is more like 12, or even 10 degrees. But it’s not just a matter of soil temperature, you also need to know the length of time the soil is at the desired temperature.” Rutherford’s experience mirrors the results of Hnatowich’s research – the warmer the soil, the better the emergence. Rutherford advises his commercial growers over the years that there’s no replacement for heat. He feels the Red River Valley has been successful with soybeans because the black soils heat up quickly. “Zero-till rarely works for soybeans,” he says. “Black ground is one of the keys to success, heating up faster in the spring.”

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Cold Tolerance in Soybeans By Andrea Hilderman Soybeans have experienced significant growth over the decade in Western Canada, and production has expanded into nontraditional areas. Western Canada is at the northern fringe of the soybean growing areas in North America, and cold temperatures can cause damage in the spring and fall and potentially at some important growth stages during the season.

Soybean growth chamber study

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Soybean plants in growth chamber for cold tolerance studies. Courtesy of AAFC Dr. Ramona Mohr is a research scientist focusing on sustainable systems agronomy at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Brandon, Manitoba.

degrees C night) before being returned to warmer temperatures (25 degrees C day/15 degrees C night) for several weeks before being assessed.

“Field studies are in place to study management practices to reduce the risk of cold damage,” explains Mohr. “These include seeding date studies and residue management studies. My work with NorthStar Genetics complements that by looking at the relative cold tolerance of varieties.”

Several measurements are being taken to determine how the crop responds, including emergence, biomass accumulation in the first study, and pod and seed development in the second.

There is anecdotal evidence to suggest that some of the early season cultivars may differ in their response to cold temperatures. Mohr is taking a very close look at that in controlled temperature growth chamber studies over two years. Ten varieties are subjects in two different experiments. In the first, Mohr is looking at early season growth and biomass accumulation when the temperature is kept cool for several weeks at emergence and after. In the second, she is focusing on the impact cool temperatures have on the soybean plant in season. Up to flowering, the soybeans are kept at temperatures ranging from 20 to 25 degrees Celsius. Once the majority of varieties begin flowering, the temperature is kept cool for several weeks (15 degrees C day/5

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“At this point, the studies are still underway and we don’t have any results to report,” says Mohr. “We will be conducting another study this winter and our results will be available in the spring.” This research will benefit farmers by identifying if soybean varieties do indeed have differing responses to cold temperatures. If there are differences, farmers who farm on the so-called fringes of the soybean production areas in Western Canada can choose varieties that are more tolerant of their less-thanideal conditions. In zero-till where soil temperatures may be cooler, there may also be an advantage to being able to choose a hardier variety. This research is a collaborative project funded by both Agriculture and AgriFood Canada and NorthStar Genetics.

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This research will benefit farmers by identifying if soybean varieties do indeed have differing responses to cold temperatures. If there are differences, farmers who farm on the so-called fringes of the soybean production areas in Western Canada can choose varieties that are more tolerant of their less-than-ideal conditions. 15


Do You Need a Drone? By John Dietz

Maybe. But for now, keep your quad for scouting.

Ilene Gellings debut flight with the UX5 in Rycroft, Alberta. Her children, Jacey, Mya, Dylan, and Devon lay on the bales to pose for the camera. This is a raw unprocessed image taken at 75m.

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Drones for farming hit the farm media bigtime in 2014. They are on the agenda at farm meetings this winter. If you already farm with GPS, expect lots of pressure to jump on the band wagon. Quick advice for soybean growers from one cutting edge agronomist, is hold off. “For soybeans, it’s not really telling that much that we didn’t know,” says Trevor Thornton, president, Crop Care Consulting Ltd. The certified agrologist based in Portage la Prairie provides independent consulting especially for row crop producers in southern Manitoba. His “gear” now includes a leading fixedwing drone, the eBee by Sensefly. Thornton was flying his $30,000 eBee professionally for most of the 2014 growing season, mostly for potato and grain growers who needed frequent updates on crop health. Between May and October his team logged 650 hours of service. His basic service fee was about $3 to $6 an acre. The eBee wasn’t the most, or least, pricey aerial scout on the market. Hobbyists and growers could purchase the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus system, a quad-copter with four propellers, some stabilization, remote control and a camera, in Winnipeg for less than $2,000. Value for money, however, is a different issue. Thornton says, “If they want to document an environmental stress like a flood or a hailstorm, possibly. If they want to document trials or treatments in a field, absolutely. If they want to do something with the information to treat the current crop, probably not.”

Big pictures The big picture comes into better focus with a bit of background. Purdue University, Indiana, has a decades old department of aviation technology with about 650 undergrad students in professional programs. It has 27 aircraft plus drones developed by faculty and students. It has had drone-related courses

for about five years and now is developing a full program, with several faculty, focused on UAVs or unmanned air vehicles. Radio controlled planes and helicopters have been hobbyist activities for decades. This is different. The new generation of drones, like eBee, incorporates high resolution aerial photography along with geo-referencing in a handheld craft that flies itself. Denver Lopp, professor of aviation technology at Purdue says, “The technology wasn’t there five to ten years ago (for drones like the eBee). Now, you’re able to fly them autonomously. “You can put in the coordinates you want it to fly, let the UAV go, and it flies itself. It does the right patterns and takes the right pictures, then returns and lands itself. The technology that’s allowed this explosion has come into place in the last five years.” The UAV band wagon now has the largest ag corporations on board (AGCO, CNH, Trimble, etc.) as well as hundreds of companies with hundreds of ideas for applications. Beside the band wagon, regulators are scrambling to post restrictions and regulations. Aviation is about the most regulated industry on earth. It needs to be, and enthusiasts won’t escape. “You can buy one [UAV] really reasonably now,” Lopp says. “What the novice doesn’t understand is how regulated the aviation field is. Right now you’re limited to 400 feet and line of sight. That’s where you’re supposed to operate. Exemptions will be coming out in regulations, for legal uses, but there are many, many questions.” Then, aside from the questions about airspace regulation and “pilot” qualifications, another issue is rising. “The big question to me is, who owns the data?” Lopp says. “All the UAV does is collect data. Does the farmer own it all? Do the manufacturers own it? Do the seed companies own it? If you contract out that UAV monitoring process, you better figure out a way that the data comes back to you and nowhere else. Or, if the data is released

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anonymously can it come back to help the farmer make better decisions?”

data, write algorithms, process data, and do the analysis.

it takes to issue an SFOC for larger UAV operators.

Manitoba’s million-acre soybean industry is only a blip in the big picture, but growers can start to prepare.

Relaxed Canadian rules

Even on a farm, the regulations say the aircraft should only fly during daylight, in good weather, and should remain in direct line of sight. Permission is required to fly over land that someone else owns, and privacy is to be respected.

Growers should have a couple options fairly soon, Lopp says. One option will be to buy your own UAV, get the certification, and dig into the technology on your own. The next option will be services from custom providers, like Thornton’s Crop Care Consulting. These will be professional agronomists with the connections and motivation to dig in and develop aerial crop scouting services, then go the next step up to process and interpret the data. Above that somewhere will be “big players,” Lopp says. These will be corporate service providers that manufacture or retail UAVs, develop sensors, improve cameras, collect

In Canada, aircraft of any type without a pilot on board are regulated by Transport Canada. Regulations for use of UAVs have been in place since 1996. In early November, Transport Canada announced two exemptions to simplify operations of small unmanned air vehicles while safely integrating them into Canadian airspace. One exemption removes the requirement to have a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) for UAVs under 2 kilograms. The second exemption is for a “heavy-weight” class of UAVs between 2 and 25 kilograms. In addition, Transport Canada simplified the application process and reduced the time

At the same time, Transport Canada reduced the maximum UAV altitude to 300 feet (90 meters) above ground. Previously the ceiling was 400 feet. It also prohibits UAVs within 9 km of an airport and within 150 meters of people, buildings, and vehicles. They are not to be flown over highways, bridges, streets, or at events with large groups of people. http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/ standards/general-recavi-uav-2265.htm

Preparing to launch the UX5.

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Change coming Thornton concedes, these changes will make a huge difference in the use of drones on farms. Like most UAV operators, Thornton went through many legal hoops and forms in the early months of flying his little UAV. Now, the eBee and many UAVs will escape the SFOC requirement, although operators still will be responsible for knowing the rules. “With the new Transport Canada regulations, I think there’s going to be a pile of farmers with a helicopter in the back seat of the truck,” Thornton says. “When they get to a field and see something, they’ll throw it up in the air to have a look, come back and carry on. I think that’s going to be very common.” Thornton carries his eBee in a special suitcase. When he wants it, he takes the

major components out of the foam packing and snaps them together. Then he establishes a wireless connection to the notebook computer that came with it. He loads up a flight plan, spins the propeller and releases it to fly the programmed pattern. Set up takes about three minutes. Near Grand Forks, North Dakota, farmer and technology teacher Don Larson was operating a Phantom Vision 2 quad-copter in 2014. Larson carries the drone along with other tools in his van, always charged up and ready to fly. Larson’s primary interest, over his three quarters of wheat and soybeans, is scouting. Flying high, at 400 feet, is possible but not important for Larson. “The drone has made a big difference, getting to places I normally couldn’t visit and getting to them more often,” he says.

“I’m hoping to find what weeds I’ve got, and where. I hope to do a little spot spraying, if the infestation is not general. I take pictures and movies. At 20 feet in the air, with a 14 megapixel camera, you can get a very good idea of what weeds you’re facing,” he says.

Trimble UX5 At the other end of the new UAV industry in Canada, a company at Ryley, Alberta, became a Trimble UX5 ag distributor in mid-2014. Toerper Tech and Precision Ltd., operated by Ilene Gellings and Claus Toerper will begin retail sales of the high-tech $60,000 UAV in 2015. Gellings became a Trimble re-seller in 2011. Their service area is northern Alberta. Gellings is an agronomist and certified UAV pilot, and enthusiast with a big vision for UAVs tomorrow.

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“As an agronomist, I can say that the drone will never replace scouting. We can complement it, but never replace it,” Gellings says. She sees direct applications for crop and drainage management, and for activities like monitoring wildlife damage and oilfield activity. “Anything that impacts agriculture is a fit for this,” she says. “Instead of waiting for a field to open and drive around it, we can just fly it to assess the damage. For pests and diseases, we can get an idea where hotspots are starting and act before they become a problem.” It may sound far-fetched today, to own a drone, but there are precedents. Remember, Gellings says, self-propelled high clearance sprayers took a generation to move from novelty and research to custom applicators to common farm ownership. The story with GPS in farming was similar. “When GPS first came out, guys asked why they needed it. Now they will sit, wait at

the edge of a field for the correction signal, and almost forego air conditioning before farming without GPS,” Gellings says. We totally expect to see drones become a standard on farms in the next five to ten years, she predicts. “Innovative farms will have a drone to assist with crop scouting, and to know where they should focus efforts rather than trying to walk every inch of a field, which is impossible. Now we can inspect every inch of the field from the air.”

Drones will help document some things that were a challenge until now, Thornton says, as an early phase for the new technology. For instance, they fly below cloud cover and can capture early crop emergence, weed flushes, drainage patterns, and crop health at various stages. “As of right now, we haven’t discovered what we can do with the information (for soybeans),” he says.

Not yet, but soon

For instance, he flew some irrigated soybean fields in 2014. The line between irrigated and non-irrigated was very clear that day. Later, it matched the yield map.

Thornton hopes that Crop Care Consulting will expand its portfolio for drone services in 2015 and beyond, but his sites are on potatoes, corn, canola, and wheat.

Still, he asks, “What’s the payback to me as a grower for paying somebody to do this or investing in my own plane to go up? I don’t know if there is one.”

“I’m speaking at three meetings in February about drones and their usefulness to agriculture. I have invested in two of them, and I do see some strong value in using them for certain things – just not soybeans, yet,” he says.

Drones probably will make sense one day for soybean growers, he predicts. “When you can save fungicide dollars because you documented it from a drone, there will be some real possibilities. It has to make a jingle in the farmer’s jeans.”

Ilene and Claus at training in Guernsey, Wyoming in March 2014.

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IT HAS ALL THE POTENTIAL IN THE WORLD,

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Early Western Canadian Soybean Production Results for 2014

in Bushels Produced in Canada

22

in Bushels Produced in The Prairies


According to information gathered from farmers across Canada and tabulated by Stats Canada as of Dec 4, 2014, national soybean production reached another record level at 222,251,000 bushels, a 12.9 percent increase over 2013. Across the Prairies, soybean production has been reported at 46,700,000 bushels, an increase of 7.1 percent from 2013 values. Even though there was an overall drop in yields across Manitoba and Saskatchewan

to an average of 30.7 bushels/acre, it was offset by increased acres being planted in both provinces. Total seeded area of soybeans in Manitoba and Saskatchewan are estimated at 1,540,000 acres, an increase of 26.2 percent over the 1,220,000 acres seeded in 2013. Manitoba had an increase of 21 percent to 1,270,000 seeded acres, with Saskatchewan experiencing a 58.8 percent increase to 270,000 acres from 170,000.

in Seeded Acres in Manitoba

As mentioned earlier, overall soybean yield was down in the Prairies this year with a decrease of 15.2 percent to 30.7 bushels/acre, the lowest yield since 2011. Manitoba’s soybean harvest was recorded as the third highest in yields over the last five years with an average of 32.3 bushels/ acre, a 14.1 percent drop from 2013’s record average yield of 37.6 bushels/acre. Saskatchewan’s average yield is estimated at 23.1 bushels/acre, a 15.1 percent decrease from 2013’s 27.2 bushels/acre.

in Seeded Acres in Saskatchewan

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INOCULANTS MAY SEEM EQUAL NOW. IT’S A DIFFERENT STORY AT HARVEST TIME.

There’s a reason growers insist on it – Nodulator® N/T is the only inoculant in the market that’s Biostacked®. Unlike other offerings, a Biostacked inoculant delivers multiple beneficial biologicals to enhance the performance of soybeans. Nodulator N/T helps increase root biomass, create more nodules and improve nitrogen fixation. Of course at the end of the day, all you have to know is what it does for your bottom line. Nodulator N/T out-yields non-Biostacked inoculants by 4-6%. So why settle for less? Visit agsolutions.ca or contact AgSolutions® Customer Care at 1-877-371-BASF (2273) for more information.

Always read and follow label directions. AgSolutions, and BIOSTACKED are registered trade-marks of BASF Corporation; NODULATOR is a registered trade-mark of BASF, all used with permission by BASF Canada Inc. © 2014 BASF Canada Inc. 24 110201375_NodulatorNT_SprayerAd_GrowSoy_v4.indd 1

2014-09-02 9:


A First-Time Soybean Story By John Dietz In south east Saskatchewan, Louis and Kristjan Hebert grew soybeans for the first time in 2014. They were happy they did, and plan a three-fold increase for 2015.

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For the first effort at Fairlight, Saskatchewan, Hebert Grain Ventures sowed 235 acres of NSC Vito RR2Y soybeans in 2014. The father-son team plans to seed more in 2015. “We were really happy for the first year,” Kristjan Hebert says. “It was enough to get our toe in the water. We‘ve got 800 acres planned for next year.” Nothing was casual about their decision to try a soybean field. They had been watching and considering the new oilseed for a few years. “We needed to make sure our soybean yields would be within 8 to 10 bushels of canola to make our net revenue work out the same,” Kristjan says. “Our net revenue off of soybeans had to match our canola. We had to market it for more than our canola, so the yield needed to be within 8 to 10 bushels of our canola.”

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On the yield side, they watched the area yield reports for south eastern Saskatchewan and for south western Manitoba. They talked to neighbours who had already tried soybeans for one or two seasons and gained confidence about the potential.

“For six years I got to learn on our own farm and on 25 to 50 other farms that I was working with. So I’ve never been scared of the risk. The management side of farming is probably what excites me the most. That’s why we decided to do it full-time.”

Kristjan and his father, Louis Hebert, also needed confidence that they could harvest the yield, if they had it.

Today, Hebert Grain Ventures has about 8,000 acres in production. Their major crops are winter wheat, Warburton spring wheat, malt barley, and canola.

“We were pretty nervous about harvesting them. But it worked into our budget to own a flex header on the new combine that we bought,” he says. “The biggest thing this year was to add the flex header to our fleet, so we could make sure we didn’t leave any on the ground.” They got a 40’ MacDon D-70 flex-draper header in 2014 and carried it on a John Deere S690 combine. They also added a roller to their lineup, driving stones into the freshly planted seedbed.

Profit ahead There’s got to be profit ahead when a chartered accountant quits early to go farming. Kristjan Hebert is a 2004 University of Saskatchewan graduate in farm accounting. When he and his wife Theresa moved back to farm with his parents, Louis and Karen, the 4,000-acre family farm south of Moosomin wasn’t big enough – wasn’t generating the cash flow – needed for both families. “I articled with MNP for six winters, obtaining my chartered accountant and focusing on farm management and corporate farm accounting,” he says. “Summers, we grain farmed with my parents. In 2009, we spent fairly heavily to expand the farm, and came home to farm full-time.” “Farming was always my passion. It’s a pretty good way of life for your wife and kids and family. There’s a lot of opportunities in farming, too, if you do it right and are willing to work for it,” he says.

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About a week before planting their soybeans, they blackened the seedbed with a new “Kelly” disc from Australia. Two days after planting, they rolled the seedbed.

“Then he [Dad] was straight cutting soybeans at 5.8 mph. It went perfect,” Kristjan says. “Dad couldn’t believe how good they combined.”

Field in a day Louis Hebert says of that day, “When we got there, they were at 13 percent moisture. We combined the whole field in a day.” He adds, because it was rolled, the header would sit on the ground and float “just perfectly.”

“There’s absolutely no question [about rolling]. When you want to get them off with a flex header, that’s what you have to do,” he says.

The night before, after the Deere S690 was set up for maximums of 5 mph and 75 percent engine load, Louis watched in amazement as the technician put the combine and header to work for the first time.

On May 21, they put in their first NSC Vito RR2Y soybeans with an 80-foot SeedMaster zero-till drill. The drill has a tow-between tank for seed and dry fertilizer. It also has a tow-behind tank for nitrogen fertilizer. They used variable rate software for fertilizer.

“There we were, clipping off these soybeans at about an inch or inch-and-a-half high at five miles an hour. I thought, this is impressive. We did two or three acres, made sure everything was working right, then called it a day,” Louis says.

“The SeedMaster worked great. We put a little liquid starter down with the beans, then just dropped the P and K to the side. The beans were liquid inoculated, then we went about 150 percent of normal for dry inoculant (around 9 lb/acre), which we think helped quite a bit,” he says.

“The next morning I’m out there by 8:30, getting things ready to go. I combined for probably an hour-and-a-half at 5 mph. The combine wasn’t loaded. So, I put the maximum up to 6 mph and I combined all day at between 5 and 6 mph. I did 228 acres that day, and I was done before 9 o’clock that night.”

They expected 10 inches of rain for a normal season. This time, the farm had 33 inches of rain. “We think the beans have a lot more potential than what we got out of them this year, even,” Kristjan says. Harvesting went really well, two weeks after a heavy frost in late September. Kristjan went away for some meetings; his Dad took over. The night before harvest, Louis got help with setting up the flex header on the new combine. It took an hour, they did a couple passes and parked for the night.

Looking back, Louis Hebert says, “All my concerns about combining soybeans on the ground just went away. Everything went extremely well. The yield was about 32 bu/ acre, and we were happy with that as firsttime growers.” For Kristjan, the former accountant, it also worked. Their 2014 canola produced a 40-bushel crop. The beans delivered 32 bushels, on first try, despite a 10 percent drown out. For 2015, he hopes to grow a 40-bushel bean crop.


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Welcome Soy Canada By Gina Borhot

Every year the soybean industry continues to grow in Canada, thriving in a climate that is often harsh and always changing. In order to maximize the potential of this healthy crop, a new organization was created, Soy Canada.

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Just over six months ago this new initiative was established as a collaboration of growers, the processing industry, and the life science industry. Jim Everson, Executive Director of Soy Canada says, “The idea of bringing all the various components together is that you bring them as a single value chain, so the interests of all the participants around the table are to work to the benefit of the entire industry.” The intention of Soy Canada is to have everyone working together. For example, “The exporters have a good relationship with customers internationally and are able to bring the knowledge and information they have about those markets right back to share with the farmer, who is at the other end of the value chain growing the product. “That product eventually goes to those markets, so it brings it back to the seed developer who also appreciates first hand what the exporters are hearing from the people buying the product and using it,” Everson says.

terms of approaching those end-users and market opportunities,” he says. This type of developmental understanding will help in the strategic planning for the industry going forward, Everson explains. The Soy Canada initiative aims to really benefit growers by improving understanding of export markets. “Farmers are growing more soybeans and looking for more markets for those soybeans,” he says. Not only does Soy Canada work to understand the international and domestic markets, they communicate that knowledge back to the industry. “If you really understand your export markets, than you can sell to those markets and bring your return back to the growers,” he says. The initiative will also involve working with the government on the trade and market access agenda.

The value chain approach the organization has employed works towards a larger collective goal to improve profitability and growth for everyone in the soybean sector.

“We want to be sure that we are getting lower tariff’s in our international market to give us an opportunity to sell more competitively in those markets,” Everson adds.

“By having all of those people participating, you’re pulling the whole value chain together and developing strategies to improve and grow soybeans with a shared effort,” he says. “It can be very powerful doing it that way.”

Soy Canada will also work on research and innovation strategies.

With the target of leading market development and research in the industry, Soy Canada has a strong focus on these objectives. Everson agrees that those goals are definitely priority areas for the organization. “Take an issue like market development,” he says. “As you approach markets you want to be sure that you are understanding the trends in those markets and what you’re doing in

“This will ensure you are not only giving farmers the tools to grow better, but also giving them the information on how to control pests and different agronomic conditions. “As a value chain we can determine what those issues are, address them, and give information to the farmer,” he says. Since 2008, soybean acreage has grown more than 50 percent across the country, especially in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, says Everson.

“When it comes to growing more acreage in Western Canada, looking at what that means for new production practices can really enhance the producer’s opportunity to grow soybeans and get real value from growing soybeans, relative to his or her other crop choices.” The growth of the soybean industry in Canada has also been a positive contributor to the economy. “I can tell you that in 2013, just even in the top 20 export markets we sold $1.9 billion worth of soybeans. That $1.9 billion worth of value is a return to the Canadian economy,” he says. “These soybean sales return value to the farmers and all the elements of the value chain to the extent that on the basis of that value the industry continues to grow and there are more returns to the seed developing companies, the grain handling companies, and to the rural economy in general – aiding the rural economy,” explains Everson. The mandate initiated by Soy Canada strives for the overall goal to bring the value chain together to optimize potential for the entire industry. “If you can pull the industry together and have a single voice in working with other stakeholders and government, then that is a very powerful thing because you are a collective that is stronger in its entirety than the sum of it’s parts,” says Everson. He adds that his excitement about Soy Canada is fueled by this notion of the industry coming together. “When you have all of the industry pulling in the same direction, working together, you can really make a difference. “That is the value of Soy Canada -- we hope to demonstrate this value, and the years, and months to come are certainly an important part of that equation to make sure that value shows for the producers.”

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ALWAYS FOLLOW IRM, GRAIN MARKETING AND ALL OTHER STEWARDSHIP AND PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Details of these requirements can be found in the Trait Stewardship Responsibilities Notice to Farmers printed in this publication. ©2014 Monsanto Canada Inc.


Foster’s Focus A column by Sarah Foster

Qualifies, Quality, and Quantity This is the third part of a series in seed certification featuring soybeans. Although soybeans have been the focus, these facts that I have spoken about are not limited to just soybeans, other crops have to go through a similar process. At this point we are now harvesting and the seed is being put into the bin. Often the crop can be processed or conditioned right away, which is always best since the least amount of handling prevents cracking and bruising which leads to mechanical damage, especially with large seed crop kinds. Don’t hope for the best, invest in a test.

Seed testing post harvest Many producers often believe they should only test their seed after processing, but in fact, it’s best to monitor the seed lot at every step of the seed’s process. Regular testing during the time that the seed is in storage is paramount. We recommend testing at an accredited seed testing laboratory post harvest. This is the first stage in your line of defense to determine whether your seed matured evenly and if the integrity of the seed remained intact. There are three tests that are key at this time, a measure of moisture is very important to assess safe storage. Not only can we determine the stability of the seed in store, we can plan with some preventative measures for heating and spoilage, and we can also be assured that storage pathogens do not become an issue.

Getting a base line on germination A germination conducted now will be the benchmark on which we base further results. It’s important to note that testing early and frequently can be very useful. Soybeans can spoil quickly because of their high oil content. Also, endogenous germination scores can be witnessed throughout the seed’s life cycle (this is where the number of seeds that germinate every time the seed is tested can be very different). There may be highs as well as lows over several months. The first germination is usually the most accurate as long as there are no hidden detriments like internal cracks that can rupture the root and shoot axis. Scientific knowledge and experience count for a lot by applying controlled conditions in the laboratory. This is not the time to test your seed at home; seek the advice of a seed professional because we have the skill to protect your investment. A minimum germination required by the Seeds Act is 85 percent. However, we would want to see a result much higher than that, so sound advice from a seed analyst about your germination result is valuable. Your crop is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars so taking short cuts at this early stage would be foolish.

Vigour and vitality A vigour test now would complete the seed report profile post harvest. Electrical conductivity (EC) is used extensively in

large seeded crops. This is where 200 seeds are soaked overnight in deionized water at room temperature. The magic with this test is that it measures the amount of amino acids, sugars, and starches that are known as leachates in the soak water. The higher the conductivity the lower the vigour and there is a formula that is applied to every crop kind to determine if and how the seed will perform under stressful conditions. The EC is a quick indicator for mechanical damage because the theory is if the seed has cracks or splits, the leachates in the water will be higher. It is a known fact that seed coat integrity is vital in the long-term storage of seed and vigour or rate of performance in the field. Mechanically damaged seed can also be a source of food for soil pathogens as well because extremely damaged seed will die off and decay in the seedbed. A post-harvest seed test is not a requirement of the Seeds Act; however, as I mentioned, it is important in establishing a benchmark and it gives you an early indication of seed quality.

Careful monitoring During and after conditioning, soybeans should be tested again. It’s often a good idea to check and see if the seed coats have been damaged. Of course, if this is the case then that determines the next level of testing, and it would suggest testing the electrical conductivity reading again to see if that EC number has changed. A germination and saturated cold vigour test should follow. A

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saturated cold test is also a good measure for how well the seed will perform under cold and wet conditions. This is a test that requires specific controls for temperature and water. It is imperative that the results are read accurately because it does correlate quite closely with the field emergence. The test now that could carry you through to seeding and that is required by law is the germination. The germination that is mandatorily conducted in an accredited laboratory must have 200 randomly selected seeds. The test represents the entire lot so careful sampling should be exercised. Once again there are specific guidelines for sampling, but stream sampling would be the most appropriate form of sampling at this stage. A composite sample is taken by combining primary samples together and forming the sample that is submitted to the lab. The number of primary samples drawn is entirely dependant on how large the lot is and obviously how much you want the germination test to represent.

This step is critical as it ensures the seed has been sampled according to official methods recognized by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The duration of a germination test takes seven days, and the seed is planted in rolled towel or in sand. The temperature regime is 25 degrees C as soybeans prefer heat and are forced to germinate quickly at that temperature. The germination is a routine test on which a Canadian grade is based and is the fundamental test that is used to represent your Certified Blue Tag issued by the Canadian Seed Growers Association (CSGA).

A final word A solid germination result of over 85 percent at this point in the process combined with a favourable vigour percentage of 80 percent or better is sufficient information to allow you to store the seed confidently. Again, checking the germination periodically

doesn’t hurt to ensure that the seed is stable and has not changed through the winter. Seed growers’ investments are extensive, so monitoring the bin for heat and moisture to maintain quality and prevent loss of viability should be a standard chore. Soybeans store safely between 14 and 16 percent moisture and aerating should be incorporated to prevent mold developing. The Seeds Act and Regulations stipulates that any seed sold should have a germination that allows it to be graded according to the level of certification sought and that it meets those requirements at the time of sale. Seed should be retested if it has been changed or processed since the last germination test. There is no stale date on germination, but it must be tested as close to the time of seeding otherwise you are venturing into unknown territory. This would be the case if seed treatments and or inoculants were applied. I will address this topic and also discuss seeding rates in my next article.

On the left: an example of how correct moisture ensures even and uniform germination. On the right: insufficient moisture impedes the development of the soybean seedlings.

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The Big Guns

NSC Gladstone RR2Y

Literally, our biggest branching soybean plant.

NSC Gladstone RR2Y is an early maturing soybean variety with great yield potential that is ideal for planting in wide rows due to its outstanding branching. AD

At NorthStar Genetics, we know beans! www.weknowbeans.com

© NorthStar Genetics 2014 ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Roundup Ready® crops contain genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup® brand agricultural herbicides. Roundup® brand agricultural herbicides will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate. Genuity and Design®, Genuity Icons, Genuity®, Roundup Ready 2 Yield®, Roundup Ready®, Roundup WeatherMAX®, and Roundup® are trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC, Monsanto Canada, Inc. licensee. Respect the Refuge and Design is a registered trademark of the Canadian Seed Trade Association. Used under license. ©2012 Monsanto Canada, Inc.


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NSC Richer RR2Y Never has a name meant so much. Our NSC Richer RR2Y is the test-plot proven highest yielder. You get a mid-season bean and wide rows, not to mention...a bit richer. At NorthStar Genetics, we know beans! AD

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© NorthStar Genetics 2014 ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Roundup Ready® crops contain genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup® brand agricultural herbicides. Roundup® brand agricultural herbicides will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate. Genuity and Design®, Genuity Icons, Genuity®, Roundup Ready 2 Yield®, Roundup Ready®, Roundup WeatherMAX®, and Roundup® are trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC, Monsanto Canada, Inc. licensee. Respect the Refuge and Design is a registered trademark of the Canadian Seed Trade Association. Used under license. ©2012 Monsanto Canada, Inc.

Growing Soybeans Issue 13  
Growing Soybeans Issue 13