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Low soybean populations better fight white mold

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An extension educator says 2015 soybean trials found lower planting populations were more successful in combating white mold.

Mike Staton with Michigan State University Extension tells Brownfield on-farm research trials compared planting populations of 80,000 to 160,000 plants per acre with white mold outbreaks. He says the lowest two populations produced the highest incomes and yields for farmers.  “If you look at just yield and not income, the 80,000 only gave up 1.8 bushels per acre compared to the 160,000—so they gave up half the amount of the seed and only gave up 1.8 bushels.”  He says MSU research is finding wide rows and low populations work best in fields that have white mold issues.

Staton coordinates research each year as part of the SMaRT program, or Soybean Management and Research Technology. He tells Brownfield the program uses on-farm research trials to answers soybean farmers’ questions.  “We go to the producers.”  He says, “We ask the industry and the producers what do they want to see in these trials?  And then we do the best we can to meet their needs.”

Staton will meeting with growers throughout January and February to discuss the results of 2015 research and select new focus areas for the coming year.

AUDIO: Interview with Mike Staton

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