Other Seed and Seeding Trials

Published Feb 10, 1996

In 1995 Ted and Donna Bauer, Audubon, repeated an evaluation of row spacing for soybeans. They compared their customary 38-inch rows to 19-inch rows achieved with a double pass of the planter (Table 6). In the 38-inch rows, Ted banded Pursuit® and Destiny® and cultivated once. In the 19-inch rows he broadcast these materials and did not attempt to cultivate. The seeding rate in 38-inch rows was 144,000 seeds per acre, while in narrow rows it was 185,000 seeds per acre.

In 1994 the narrow rows yielded more but netted less due to additional costs involved. In 1995, the narrow rows again yielded more (4.5 bushels), and this year they penciled out to a $4.73 per acre advantage. That is taking into account the additional labor and equipment cost of a second planter pass (estimated at $7.98). The costs connected with a dedicated narrow-row planter would be less.

Dave and Lisa Lubben, Monticello, evaluated a planter attachment to improve seed-to-soil contact (Table 6). The simple plastic device presses the seed firmly into the slot created by the planter, an effect similar to that of a narrow press wheel. There was no yield benefit in the 1995 trial, and Dave now thinks any advantage would only be evident in a year with dry planting conditions.

The Neely-Kinyon Farm, Greenfield, is involved with local producers interested in the market potential for edible soybeans and identity-preserved marketing. A trial on the farm compared a large-seeded, tofutype variety (LS-201) to a commercial variety of similar maturity (Stine 2250). Both are early group II varieties, reports Bernie Havlovic, who coordinated the trial. Both were planted at 150,000 seeds per acre on June 7.

The specialty soybeans yielded more than six bushels less than the comparison variety. But they brought almost $31 per acre more profit. The tofu beans had been contracted for $1.40 per bushel over the Chicago Board of Trade price. Including the basis between Audubon and Chicago, that effectively made them worth $1.90 more than other soybeans. The Neely-Kinyon Farm will continue to explore edible soybean production, says Bernie, and they are hopeful that a tofu variety better adapted to their area will be available in coming years.