If you haven’t booked your soybean seed yet, then you haven’t heard the good news. Soybean seed prices have come WAY down from last year!
There are also some exciting new soybean varieties in both Enlist and Xtend you may be fired up about, as well. Our Hefty Brand Soybean lineup is the best it’s ever been, and we haven’t seen prices this low in many years.
WHY ARE PRICES SO LOW
Competition is generally a good thing for you. In this case it’s Enlist versus Xtend, and the result is lower-priced seed as the traits (and their owners) battle for market share on your farm. This is great news! What’s even better is that the competition is likely to get even more intense in coming years with the expected launch of XtendFlex soybeans in 2021. XtendFlex will offer tolerance to Roundup, dicamba, and glufosinate (Liberty).
WHITE MOLD AND OTHER DISEASE TOLERANCES
Sclerotinia white mold has been a terrible problem in 2018 and 2019 across much of the Upper Midwest. The only positive note here is that soybean breeders have been hit hard by the disease, as well. They would tell you what a blessing this has been to their programs as the varieties in development that had little tolerance to the disease were wiped out. The result is that varieties coming out over the next 4 to 5 years should have significant improvements in white mold tolerance.
The same could be said for other diseases that have thrived in the wet, humid seasons of 2018 and 2019. I’d look for improvements coming in the new soybean varieties in their tolerance levels to frogeye, phytophthora, and some other key diseases.
SALT EXCLUDERS FOR HIGH PH AND IDC AREAS
More exciting news is coming with the expansion of a defensive characteristic few have been talking about. There is a gene that has been identified in soybeans that when present can actually help the plant block out salt! Let me say that another way, there is a salt excluder gene for soybeans, and it’s available right now.
There are also soybeans coming for 2021 with the salt excluder gene at maturities as early as 0.6 in the Hefty Brand Enlist E3 lineup. I’m thrilled to bring beans like this to the Red River Valley in the north. They also work great for irrigated acres and salty acres everywhere!
Soybean field infected with sclerotinia white mold. One silver lining to the widespread prescence of this disease in recent years is that more tolerant varieties have been selected out of the breeding pool.
Iron deficiency chlorosis (IDC) in soybeans. The salt excluder gene in soybeans is becoming available across more maturities, which can help many farmers that regularly have IDC problems in their soybean crops.