RR2Y beans show yield advantage
The biggest technology change in seed, and the one that is gaining the most attention in this winter’s seed-buying season, is Roundup Ready 2 Yield, or RR2Y. The questions I have had about RR2Y have been mostly “What is the difference from my RR1s?” and “Is it worth it?”
When the first RR2Y soybeans were available in our area in 2010, the price difference was around $20 per unit higher, and Acceleron Seed treatment was mandatory on the seed. These have both gone away for 2011. The price is around $5.25 per unit more, which is only 0.40 bushels per acre needed to offset the seed cost difference. The seed treatment is separate from the seed price this year and is optional. Acceleron now is offered with or without the seed-applied insecticide component, giving farmers a better choice for their growing situation. Not all areas need a seed-applied insecticide, but most farmers should be using at least a fungicide seed treatment in our region.
The largest advantage to these new RR2Y soybeans is the yield, though. Each year in our testing the overall yields have increased, along with these new soybeans bringing good agronomic traits that fit our growing conditions. Most growers can find a RR2Y soybean variety that fits their farm. Iron deficiency chlorosis, phytophthora genes and soybean cyst nematode resistance are included in most new varieties.
In our company’s selection process, we need to have at least a 2-bushel-per acre advantage over a comparable RR1 in its maturity to come forward with a new RR2Y. This really hasn’t been much of a problem. Over the past two years in 164 replicated trials, the RR2Ys had an average 2.5-bushel-per-acre advantage over the RR1s, winning 68% of the time. Those are pretty good numbers in the seed industry.
Where is this yield coming from? While there have been multiple reports of five-bean pods in the area, it could just be due to more people looking for them. We’ve found five-bean pods in the past on conventional and RR1 soybeans, too. I do think, though, after looking at numerous fields of RR2Ys and plots, that there is an increase of three- and four-bean pods and that could easily make up the more than 2-bushel yield increase.
The scientific reason, though, is that Monsanto, through its research, was able to insert the traited gene into a DNA region of the soybean plant that has a positive impact on yield.
There are plenty of new traits coming down the pipelines of all the major genetic-trait companies, and the future looks bright in adopting these new technologies onto your farm. Plant the Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans with confidence this summer.
Spelhaug is an agronomist with Peterson Farms Seed, Harwood, N.D. Contact him at 866-481-7333, or visit www.petersonfarms
This article published in the February, 2011 edition of DAKOTA FARMER.