Project Details:

Title:
University of Maryland Soybean Variety Trials – Check Varieties

Parent Project: This is the first year of this project.
Checkoff Organization:Maryland Soybean Board
Categories:Soybean Variety Trials, Agronomy, Crop management systems
Organization Project Code:3778436
Project Year:2021
Lead Principal Investigator:Nicole Fiorellino (University of Maryland)
Co-Principal Investigators:
Keywords:

Contributing Organizations

Funding Institutions

Information and Results

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Project Summary

Varieties from maturity group (MG) III, IV, and V will be evaluated at four locations across the state representative of the geographic conditions in Maryland. A full-season test will be conducted at all four locations with a double-crop test at two locations on the Eastern Shore. Varieties from MG III and IV will be evaluated at all locations, while MG V will only be evaluated at the Eastern Shore locations. Each variety will be replicated three times per location. Multi-row plots will be established, at least 20 feet long using a row spacing of 24 inches, with similar maturity group varieties planted adjacent to one another. A grain drill may be used to establish at least one test. Seeding rate of 6-8 seeds per foot will be used when tests are planting and a rate of 3-4 seeds per foot will be used where seed is drilled. The center swath of each plot are harvested with Almaco R1 research combine (Almaco Co., Nevada, IA). Grain yield, harvest moisture, and test weight will be measured for each plot. These data will be collected with a Seed Spector LRX system (Almaco Co., Nevada, IA) and recorded on Microsoft xTablet T1600.

Project Objectives

The goal of this project is to provide Maryland producers with an unbiased comparison of soybean variety performance across the geographic and climatic regions of Maryland. These data can aid producers in soybean variety selection with the global goal of increasing producer profitability through increased yields.

Project Deliverables

Harvest data, including yield, relative yield, moisture, lodging, and test weight will be reported for all varieties at all locations in a summary report to be available for download at the UMD MD Crops website (www.psla.umd.edu/extension/md-crops).

Progress of Work

Updated July 30, 2021:
The 2021 University of Maryland Soybean Variety trials are off to a great start. After technicians fabricated a no-till soybean planter, full season soybeans were planted at the four locations from June 9 through June 17th. The double crop tests were planted July 1 and July 6. All tests are progressing well across the locations. While the Eastern Shore locations have been dry, there is ample growth of all varieties. We anticipate an uneventful remainder of the growing season and plan to have timely reporting of the results to growers and stakeholders.

Updated December 29, 2021:
The University of Maryland Soybean Variety trials have been completed for the 2021 growing season.
Results of the trials can be found at the MD Crops page on the Department of Plant Science and
Landscape Architecture website at https://psla.umd.edu/extension/md-crops. The Trials Center team, who
performs the work, wrapped up harvest by mid-November this year and the report was compiled and
published online the end of November – significantly earlier than has been typical in the last few years.
While most expenditures related to field operations have been complete, we are awaiting transfer of
budgeted technician salary at this time.
Prior to planting the trials, the Trials Center team fabricated a seed-delivery system on an existing no-till
planter in order to plant all plots with the same equipment. We felt it was important to mimic the
condition on Maryland soybean farms in our variety trials and planting our plots into no-till field
conditions was a major step forward with the variety trials to accomplish this.

View uploaded report PDF file

Final Project Results

Updated May 23, 2022:
The University of Maryland Soybean Variety trials have been completed for the 2021 growing season. Results of the trials can be found at the MD Crops page on the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture website at https://psla.umd.edu/extension/md-crops. The Trials Center team, who performs the work, wrapped up harvest by mid-November this year and the report was compiled and published online the end of November – significantly earlier than has been typical in the last few years.

In the soybean variety trials results document, we present data separately by location of the trials and maturity group. Low yields and a lack of yield differences were observed across all maturity groups at the Clarksville location due to poor seed to soil contact at planting, where excessive fodder remained on the soil surface.
The selection of a variety based solely on performance at one location is not recommended. It is better to select variety based upon performance over a number of locations and years, if possible. To compare the performance of each variety across the test locations, relative yield was included in the report. Relative yield is the ratio of the yield of a variety at a location to the mean yield of all the varieties at that location expressed in percentage. A variety that has a relative yield consistently greater than 100 across all testing locations is considered to have excellent stability. Of the MG 3 soybeans, two varieties in the full season test and six varieties in the double crop test had relative yield >100 at all locations in 2021. Two early MG 4 varieties in the full season test and seven varieties in the double crop test had relative yield >100 at all locations, while of the late MG 4 varieties, six varieties in the full season test and ten varieties in the double crop test met this standard. Finally, of the MG 5 varieties, three varieties each in the full season and double crop tests met this standard.

View uploaded report PDF file

Soybean farmers need an unbiased source of performance data comparing commercially-available varieties to make decisions that maximize profitability on their operations. Moreover, it is important to evaluate seed varieties across the geographic and climatic regions of the state so farmers across the state can select varieties appropriate for their specific conditions as well as varieties with performance stability. As weather conditions continue to be unpredictable and variable, there is value in selecting soy varieties that perform well across variable conditions to minimize risk of profit loss.

Benefit to Soybean Farmers

Producers are often “sold” a number of different products, seed varieties, herbicides, insecticides, or growth promotion products, which are pitched as yield maximizers. The ability of these products to increase yield may be questionable, as companies do not typically utilize acceptable statistical practices and field trial design to produce repeatable conclusions. What is additionally questionable is the profitability of these products. Producers need an unbiased source to compare the performance and profitability of these products, namely seed varieties, to make decisions that maximize profitability on their operations. Moreover, it is important to evaluate seed varieties across the geographic and climatic regions of the state so producers across the state can select varieties appropriate for their specific conditions as well as all-around consistent varieties. As weather conditions continue to be unpredictable and variable, there is value in selecting corn varieties that perform well across variable conditions to minimize risk of profit loss.

Funding for these small, statewide, and applied projects is difficult to obtain. These comparisons are performed at the state level and do not often qualify for support from USDA or other federal grant programs. Although major seed companies provide entries fees to support the corn variety trials, their provision of support may lead some to question if there is bias in the results. The funding provided from commodity organizations across the country is invaluable to the performance of these unbiased product comparisons

Performance Metrics

Project Years