How to maximize soybean yield potential this year

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Ensuring soybeans get as close to maximum yield potential requires protecting plants from disease and providing plenty of nutrients.

For soybean farmers in Eastern Canada, that means managing the risk of Sclerotinia stem rot, or white mould, especially in late June and early July when disease pressure is at its peak.

White mould is the leading disease in soybean production in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes. Last year’s growing season (2023) was favourable for white mould development in these areas and serves as a reminder to soybean farmers to scout diligently and be prepared with a preventative fungicide application.

Farmers with high yielding soybean environments, those with higher seeding rates, and areas with dense canopies, should be especially thorough when scouting for white mould. While these conditions are ideal for maximizing yield potential, they also create environmental conditions conducive to disease development.

Prevention pays off

White mould infections take place during the start of flowering (R1) stage and continue while flowers are present. And while higher incidence is often observed during periods of high relative humidity and average temperatures around 21oC, it doesn’t take much for humidity to be trapped beneath soybean canopies and create the ideal conditions for infection.

Even in drier conditions, soybean canopies can become a hub for humidity. Typical June and July weather, with cooler night temperatures, can easily create moisture and condensation and result in a microclimate within the plant canopy to produce disease-causing spores. That’s why, no matter the weather conditions, farmers need to be prepared to protect soybean yield potential with a preventative, effective fungicide like Acapela™ or Viatude™.

Acapela fungicide has one-of-a-kind movement properties that help provide complete coverage and superior protection against white mould to deliver healthier soybeans and higher yield potential.

Viatude is a foliar fungicide with Onmira™ active that provides best-in-class white mould protection in soybeans. Premium performance is delivered through a unique combination of two of the strongest sclerotinia and white mould actives on the market today, delivering multiple modes of effective action. Systemic movement and coverage from a fungicide is critical for maximum protection in a dense soybean canopy. The Onmira active in Viatude fungicide is highly mobile, it quickly and efficiently surrounds, penetrates, and protects the leaf and stem from white mould infection. The advanced movement properties of Viatude fungicide help deliver more premium protection.

Promote plant health

Healthy, disease-free plants are essential to realize yield potential. In addition to providing protection, both Acapela and Viatude fungicides offer a strobilurin effect to support plant health. Soybean farmers can expect to see plant greening within a few days after fungicide application as the actives move within the plants. Plant greening visually exhibits product performance while promoting stronger, more resilient plants.

Utrisha™ N nitrogen efficiency biostimulant also helps maximize crop potential by utilizing natural bacteria to capture and supply nitrogen to plants when they need it the most. Soybean plants can often meet their own nitrogen needs through nitrogen fixation, but in high yielding environments, the necessary nitrogen can be limited. That’s where Utrisha™ N excels – introducing a secondary source of nitrogen to feed soybean plants when they need it the most, including later growth stages and filling upper pods. This is achieved by the natural bacteria, methylobacterium symbioticum, that fixes nitrogen from the air and converts it into a usable form for the plant.

Utrisha N can be applied in soybeans at the three-leaf stage up until pre-senescence. As a nutrient efficiency biostimulant, Utrisha N provides a sustainable, alternative source of nitrogen that complements nitrogen uptake from the soil and ensures the plant has access to nitrogen all season long, without the risk of leaching into water tables or releasing additional greenhouse gases.

Formulated for efficiency, Utrisha N has a broad application window and can be tank mixed with both Acapela and Viatude fungicides for flexible treatment schedules.

After investing in seed with high yielding genetics, soybean farmers must be diligent about protecting plants from disease and providing plenty of nutrients if they expect to cash in on yield potential. Proactive scouting for diseases like white mould, applying a preventative fungicide and leveraging the benefits of nitrogen efficiency biostimulants are a farmer’s best bet for maximizing soybean yield potential.

For more information or product recommendations for soybeans contact your trusted agronomic advisor, retailer or local Corteva Agriscience Territory Manager.