Soybean Variety Trial Data Now Available for Northern NY Growers
Northern New York — Northern New York growers produce soybeans on nearly 9,000 acres. Six thousand of those acres are in Jefferson County, making it an ideal location for evaluating new varieties. The results of field trials conducted by Cornell University Crop and Soil Sciences Professor William J. Cox at Robbins Farms in Sackets Harbor, NY, are now available to help growers deciding which varieties to plant in 2012.
“Soybeans are an increasing attractive crop for northern growers. The climate in Northern New York is no longer too cool to produce soybeans so mid-season (Group I) varieties are adapted to most of Northern New York and early Group II varieties can mature if planted early near the Lake,” Cox says.
Cox points to the 659,000 acres of soybeans grown in Quebec and more than 100,000 acres of soybeans grown in the province of Ontario between NY’s northern border and Ottawa in 2010 as evidence of the adaptability of soybeans in northern regions.
“If global warming continues over the next several decades, Northern New York may well prove to be the ideal location rather than a marginal region for soybean production,” Cox says.
Cox also notes that the high price of soybean meal has more dairy farmers looking to grow their own soybeans and process them in an on-farm or local custom roaster.
“Soybeans are a low-input crop – you plant, spray once or twice, and harvest. This makes soybeans an attractive crop from a labor management perspective, especially on smaller dairy operations,” Cox says.
The current high price for soybeans make it an attractive cash crop.
2011 saw the wettest April-May period ever recorded at the Watertown Airport, five miles from the variety trial at Robbins Farms. The trial planting was delayed until June 3rd. The wet period was followed by the fifth warmest June-September in the area and the third wettest August-September period.
“Although the 2011 growing season in Northern New York was challenging, the trials produced very good soybean yields – 56 bushels per acre average yield for Group I varieties and 53 bushels per acre average yields for Group II,” Cox says.
“If the current price remains at $11 per bushel, I would expect soybean acreage in New York, including Northern New York, to increase in 2012,” he adds.
The trials were partially supported by Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station funding.
The 2011 Soybean Variety Trials for Northern New York data is available from Cornell Cooperative Extension and online at www.nnyagdev.org/_fieldcrops.htm#Soybeans
· Bill Cox, Cornell University, 607-255-1758
· Ron Robbins, soybean grower/Northern New York Agricultural Development Program Advisory Committee member, cell: 315-382-3883
· Cornell Cooperative Extension: Clinton County: 518-561-7450, Essex County: 518-962-4810, Franklin County: 518-483-7403, Jefferson County: 315-788-8450, Lewis County: 315-376-7279, St. Lawrence County: 315-379-9192