Multi-year non-GMO soybean variety trial results in Michigan’s Thumb

How does your favorite non-GMO soybean variety stack up?

University recommendations on choosing the most suitable corn hybrids and soybean varieties usually urge growers to look at multi-year trial data before making a purchasing decision. The only catch is that corn hybrids and soybean varieties cycle quickly enough that there isn’t always meaningful multi-year data. Non-GMO soybean varieties stick around a little longer.

Michigan State University Extension field crops educators in Michigan’s Thumb area studied non-GMO soybean varieties in plots each year between 2010 and 2017. Ten of those varieties were included in the plots at least three years. Those varieties included DF Seeds DF 155F, DF Seeds DF 242n/s, DF Seeds Jackson F, DF Seeds Lily, Ontario Agricultural College (OAC) Marvel, Zeeland Farm Services ZFSelect 1326, ZFSelect1414, ZFSelect1420 LS, ZFSelect 251 LS and ZFSelect 728 LL.

These soybeans were planted in 30-inch rows in blocks 15 feet by 75 feet. The plots were treated with conventional herbicides and usually hoed once or twice. Seed treatments, if used, were left up to the individual seed companies.

The varieties were not always included in the plots in successive years. The companies that entered the varieties chose which years they were included. Table 1 shows the years which each of the varieties were included in the plot.

Table 1. Years each variety were included in the trial, sorted alphabetically.

Company/variety

Years in trial

DF Seeds DF 155F

2010–2016

DF Seeds DF 242 n/s

2012–2016

DF Seeds Jackson F

2013–2015

DF Seeds Lily

2012–2016

OAC Marvel

2012, 2014–2015

ZFSelect 1326

2013–2016

ZFSelect 1414

2014–2016

ZFSelect 1420 LS

2014–2016

ZFSelect 251 LS

2010–2015

ZFSelect 728 LL

2010–2014

Table 2 shows the whole-plot average yield for each year.

Table 2. Non-GMO soybean plot average yields.

Year

Plot average yield (Bu/A)

2010

50.6

2011

43.0

2012

68.3

2013

56.5

2014

51.3

2015

60.0

2016

61.1

Table 3 reports the yield performance of each variety over the years each were included in the plots. Note that average protein and oil are also included in the results. Finally, the average yields for the entire plot for each of the years that variety was included in the plots are given.

Table 3. Non-GMO soybean performance over multiple years, sorted by yield.

Company/variety

Average protein (%)

Average oil (%)

Average moisture (%)

Average yield (Bu/A)

All variety average yields for years variety was in plot

DF Seeds Lily

42.1

20.0

15.6

60.8

59.4

DF Seeds DF 242 n/s

41.6

20.1

16.3

60.1

59.4

ZFSelect 1420 LS

40.9

19.6

14.0

60.0

57.5

ZFSelect 1326

40.5

19.8

14.4

59.8

57.2

OAC Marvel

43.2

20.4

14.4

58.9

59.9

ZFSelect 1414

43.4

20.1

14.4

58.1

57.5

DF Seeds Jackson F

41.4

21.2

14.6

56.8

55.9

DF Seeds DF 155F

41.2

19.8

16.0

56.3

55.8

ZFSelect 728 LL

39.8

19.2

15.9

54.8

53.9

ZFSelect 251 LS

39.0

19.6

15.3

54.6

55.0

Statistics were not run on these results. DF Seeds Lily had the greatest yield. OAC Marvel finished in the middle and yielded slightly less than the plot averages for the years it was included in the plots, but had the highest protein content and second highest oil content.

The Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee and cooperating seed companies provided funds that made these trials possible.

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