Some soybean producers are jumping to include the dicamba traits in their soybean varieties for the next growing season after the EPA gave it’s approval for the use of the technology recently.
However, Shawn Conley, University of Wisconsin soybean specialist, says dicamba doesn’t mean it’s going to bring higher soybean yields. The one thing is clear is that anyone considering using dicamba in their operation must use the best management practices possible.
Here are four items to consider when it comes to choosing soybeans in 2017:
1. New doesn’t mean it’s better. The WI Soybean program evaluated 200 RR2Y (Roundup Ready 2 Yield) and 47 RR2X (Roundup Ready 2 Xtend) varieties in 2016. On average across all varieties and regions RR2Y out-yielded RR2X by a significant +1.8 BPA.
2. Remember every variety must stand on its own. Use independent trial data and pick varieties that not only perform well but also have the traits you are interested in (e.g. herbicide tolerance).
3. RR2X soybeans are a stack of herbicide traits and not yield traits (i.e... these traits protect yield, not enhance yield). Remember this point with all pest management traits!
4. Don’t let the fear that if you don’t use this technology, your yields will suffer more than by the 1.8 bushels. It’s no secret that the amaranthus outbreaks are impacting much of the corn belt and the mid-south but remember that every variety must stand on its own. Growers must remember to use multiple modes of action when fighting weeds and consider using other traits such as Liberty Link soybeans. The data gathered so far shows dicamba may be a short answer to a long term problem. The dicamba answer may have a shorter fix than Roundup Ready traits.