Ohio’s 2015 Soybean Crop Performance Trials Reveal Higher than Expected Yields

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Despite the heavy rains that hit the region early during the growing season this year, soybeans in the majority of test plots planted by researchers with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University still managed to beat expectations.

In fact, in four of the six test sites for the 2015 Ohio Soybean Performance Test, soybeans averaged over 70 bushels per acre, said Laura Lindsey, a soybean and small grains specialist with Ohio State University Extension. OSU Extension is the college’s outreach arm.

“Although this year was very unusual in the amount of rainfall that fell in June, our yields were very high – much higher than expected,” she said. “We averaged over 70 bushels per acre on some sites, with two sites averaging over 60 bushels per acre.

“This shows that soybeans can overcome stress very well since they were impacted by the historic rainfall earlier in the season. It also shows that beneficial August rainfall helped to fill the seed out.”

Statewide, Ohio soybean production is expected to total 239.5 million bushels this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service, Great Lakes Region. In its Nov. 10 crop production report, the agency said Ohio soybean yield is forecast at 50 bushels per acre.

“Ohio soybean producers expect to see fairly good corn and soybean yields despite setbacks caused by excessive rains for the first half of the season,” the agency said in a statement.

OSU Extension’s 2015 Ohio Soybean Performance Test results can be viewed at stepupsoy.osu.edu/node/46. The results provide growers with the latest information on how well some conventional, Liberty Link, and Roundup Ready soybean varieties grown at six Ohio locations in Henry, Sandusky, Mercer, Marion, Preble and Clinton counties have performed this year.

The test is designed to evaluate soybean varieties that were grouped, tested and analyzed by maturity both early and late, and that were sprayed with conventional herbicides, to allow for head-to-head comparisons, Lindsey said.

“These performance tests provide soybean producers with comparative information to help them make informed decisions when selecting varieties best suited for their production and market,” she said. “Because soybean varieties differ in disease and insect resistance, yield potential, standability and maturity, information on how they performed can be extremely helpful for growers.

“We generally recommend that farmers pick high-yielding varieties when planning their soybean crops. So we have test sites at six locations across Ohio to see how the varieties perform on a variety of soil types and growing conditions to help farmers determine the best soybean varieties for their farm.” 

The results show that the 2015 growing season likely turned out to be better than expected for soybean growers with well-drained fields in Ohio, Lindsey said, although she noted that yields vary across the state.

Tracy Turner
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Laura Lindsey