On February 1, 2022, Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers (MPSG) co-hosted a webinar with Manitoba Crop Alliance to showcase on-farm research results from 2021. Find a recording of the webinar here.
2021 Results in a Nutshell
MPSG’s On-Farm Network (OFN) harvested a total of 54 trials in 2021, investigating 16 different trial types on soybeans, peas, dry beans and faba beans. The main take-away from 2021 was that growing season moisture – or lack thereof – drove results this season.
Biologicals: Four biostimulant trials comparing treated vs untreated. No significant yield responses occurred from any biological products tested.
Double vs. single inoculant: Seven trials on fields with a history of at least two, well-nodulated soybean crops. One significant yield response to double inoculant. At that site, nodulation was excellent for both double (granular in-furrow and liquid on-seed) and single (liquid on-seed) inoculant treatments. Double inoculant resulted in a 2.2 bu/ac increase, which at a soybean sell price of $13/bu, resulted in a profit of $17/ac.
Single vs. no inoculant: Three trials, no significant yield or nodulation differences. These fields have had at least three previous well-nodulated soybean crops.
Row spacing: Four trials, two comparing 7.5” vs 15” and two comparing 15” vs 30”, no significant yield responses. Plants were small overall in 2021. Canopy closure increased with narrower row spacing and 30” rows did not close.
Seeding rate: Fourteen trials, no significant yield responses. Seeding rates of 100,000 seeds/ac up to 215,000 seeds/ac were tested. Each individual farm’s seeding rate treatment varied – most commonly testing their normal seeding rate vs. 30,000 seeds/ac higher and lower. This brings the OFN to 100 seeding rate trials to-date (2012-2021). The summary so far: seeding above 190,000 seeds/ac has not provided a return on investment. A seeding rate in the range of 150,000 – 180,000 should be adequate to achieve maximum yield potential. This is in line with the current recommendations to target 140,000 – 160,000 live plants/ac.
Inoculant: In 2021, the OFN initiated pea inoculant trials for the first time. Two trials were harvested: one comparing double vs single inoculant on a field with no pea history, and one comparing single vs double rates of granular inoculant. Neither resulted in a significant yield nor nodulation difference.
Seeding rate: Pea seeding rate trials were also new in 2021. Six trials were initiated, but only four could be taken to yield. Each trial tested three seeding rates – the farmer’s usual rate and +/- 20 seeds/m2 (80,000 seeds/ac). No significant yield response occurred at any trial.
Foliar Fungicide: Four trials – three comparing a single application to none, and one comparing a double vs single application. No significant yield response – Mycosphaerella (Ascochyta) blight was not present in two trials, and in the other two, symptoms remained very mild throughout the season. This year the OFN used the Fungicide Decision Worksheet for Managing Mycosphaerella Blight ahead of fungicide applications to determine the disease risk level and likelihood of seeing a yield response. The recommendation from the worksheet in all cases was no application necessary and to revisit in a few days to re-assess symptoms, humidity and the five-day forecast.
Tillage: Two trials comparing strip till to conventional till in pinto and black beans. Conventional till beans were smaller and less vigorous at both trials. At harvest, conventional till pinto beans were too green to be harvested, effectively making yield for those strips zero. At the black bean trial, strip till resulted in a 289 lb/ac yield increase over conventional till. This resulted in a net increase of $116–173/ac for the farmer (assuming a black bean sell price of $0.40-0.60/lb).
Nitrogen fertilization: One trial comparing 0 vs 35 vs 70 lbs N/ac. Visual differences were apparent among treatments throughout the season – with increasing N rate there was improved growth, vigour and more advanced staging. The 70 lbs N/ac increased yield by roughly 150 lbs/ac compared to the 0 N control. Assuming a urea cost of $37/ac and a pinto bean sell price of $0.40-0.60/lb, the 70 lbs N/ac treatment resulted in a profit of $24-54/ac over the 0 lbs N/ac control.
Foliar Fungicide: Two trials – one comparing a single vs a double application and one comparing a single applications to none. White mould was not present in either trial and as a result, there were no significant yield responses to fungicide.
Foliar Fungicide: Two trials testing double vs single application. No significant yield response. Foliar disease incidence ranged from 55 – 100%, but disease severity remained low and restricted to the lower part of the crop canopy.
Full reports from each individual trial are available by following the trial type hyperlinks above. Video summaries of each trial type are available as well. To participate in the trials in 2022 contact Leanne at firstname.lastname@example.org.