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NorthStar News

Warm Welcome for New Breed on the Soybean Scene

This is the second of two articles on the new Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans, which combine the proven yield potential of the Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybean trait with tolerance to both dicamba and glyphosate. In part one, three seed growers gave their initial impressions of this new variety; part two looks at the post-harvest reviews from these same three growers.

As anyone with visiting in-laws can attest, some new arrivals are more welcome than others. One that’s getting a warm reception is the Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybean. Never ones to gush, farmers who tested the new variety were generally positive about the results.

“Combinability was very good,” said Ben Hiam of Satrom-Hiam Seed Farm near Page, North Dakota. “The combines were flying through the field faster than we could take the crop away.”

Though the yield wasn’t “blowing the doors off”, the field where the Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans were planted had been experiencing issues for quite a while, so it’s all relative.

“It was definitely one of our better performing crops in that field, averaging 52 bushels/acre which is on the high side for our harvest this year,” said Hiam.

Especially in light of the field’s history, Hiam was pleasantly surprised by what he saw with the new variety. It also compared well with his LibertyLink beans which wound up in the 50-54 bushels/acre range.

Harvesting success

At Beyer Farm outside Kent, Minnesota, Andy Beyer tested two varieties of the Roundup Ready 2 Xtend and liked what he saw.

“The later maturing variety performed better at around 60 bushels/acre, slightly better than LibertyLink’s,” said Beyer. “To be fair, though, the early maturing one was on drier, poorer quality ground, so you have to give it the benefit of the doubt.”

In both cases, there were no problems with green stems and no lodge, white mold, or other disease issues.

From a quality standpoint, Beyer also had positive comments.

“I have sent everything in for seed germs and the results were good at about 95 percent warm germination and 90 percent accelerated aging.”

Clouded judgment

Even under less than ideal conditions, the Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans held their own.

“We received way too much rain this year to get a really good feel for things,” said Dave Hankey, the owner of Hankey Seed Company near Park River, North Dakota.

Yet in spite of the extra moisture and variable yields that made comparisons difficult, Hankey said the Xtend “performed better than other varieties head-to-head.”

Although their yield wasn’t superior to LibertyLink’s, “they looked good and healthy in the field and ended up cleaner.”

And in an industry that lives and dies with numbers, this was one time when those numbers didn’t tell the whole story.

“It’s tough when they were harvesting record crops just 40 miles south or north of us, and we were stuck in the middle,” said Hankey. “The Xtend came in at about 40 bushels per acre, which means they still achieved good yields with two times the normal rainfall, so that says a lot; I really liked them.”

If there’s a common concern around Xtend, it’s regarding the current lack of approval for an effective herbicide. As well, Ben Hiam cited the cost and chemical drift issues as possible stumbling blocks.

Still, all three men are upbeat about the future prospects for this variety.

“I can’t say anything bad about them right now,” said Hiam. “They performed very well under the circumstances. The sample looked nice, the seed count was good, and when you put it all together and get weed control next season, things are pointing in the right direction.”

While he only had one variety in one field this season, Hiam said next year will be interesting with additional variety options.

“I will definitely be trying more of them.”

Unlike those in-laws, it seems the longer that Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans stay around, the better they look.