Soybean yields were looking good last year at most of the 20 University of Missouri soybean test locations.
"Yields in the 50-bushel range were common in the north and central regions of the state," says Howard Mason, MU crop testing research specialist. But dry conditions in southwest Missouri held down yields to around 35 bushels per acre in that district, with the Lamar site averaging less than 20 bushels.
At Dexter, an irrigated location in southeast Missouri, the maturity group 5 average for 77 varieties was 72.3 bushels per acre, with a top yield of 84.2 bushels. "Those beans were tremendous, tall and loaded with pods from top to bottom," Mason says. "The cooperating farmers' beans in the same field yielded 68 bushels, which was great, but with a little homework, he could get 10 to 15 bushels more per acre for little or no more expense to himself."
Variety selection is one of the most important decisions a grower can make about his farming practices, he points out. "You can get average yields or you can get above-average yields simply by doing some homework and picking a line in the top yield group for your area," Mason says.
This report is a contribution of the Division of Plant Science, University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. Results obtained should aid the individual grower in judging the relative merits of the commercial soybean varieties available in Missouri today. The number of entries in the program has increased from 51 in 1973 to 377 in 2006.
Summary reports of the 2006 MU soybean performance tests are featured in the January issue of Missouri Ruralist.
For complete data and a description of the MU crop performance test program, visit the Web site: agebb.missouri.edu/cropperf/vartest. Reports can be obtained in CD version from the MU agronomy plant sciences unit office at (573) 882-2307, or visit your local Extension office for a free hard copy of the report.