MSU Organic soybean variety comparison trials available
Organic producers now have soybean variety performance comparison results from Michigan locations.
Performance comparisons of 41 non-GMO soybeans varieties were conducted on three organic farms in Michigan. Fifteen of the varieties are outcomes of the Michigan State University food grade soybean breeding program headed up by DeChun Wang (Department of Crop and Soil Sciences). Soybeans from other breeding programs and seed companies throughout the Midwest were evaluated in these trials as well to provide comparisons under Michigan organic conditions. Each entry was replicated three to four times at each site.
The criteria for selecting organic soybean varieties are somewhat different than for conventional food grade varieties. Large bush type varieties are desired by the organic growers while shorter, high yielding compact varieties are selected for the conventional grower. The entries were evaluated twice during the growing season by growers and buyers. Evaluation criteria were plant height, canopy closure, and pod height. Harvest data recorded was yield, plant height, average lodging, protein, oil, seed count and hilum color. Significant differences accrued with all criteria evaluated.
These results are extremely beneficial for organic soybean producers who are looking for higher yielding, more organically adopted varieties that meet the demands of the end users. A 5 bushel difference in yield with food-grade, organic soybeans can easy equate to a $100 an acre gain.
The research was funded by the seed companies entering varieties to be evaluated. It was also supported by the MSU soybean research team.