With a step-by-step approach to soybean variety selection, you can make a decision that improves yields and also manages risk and makes for an easier harvest.
The first step is to list the varieties suited to your maturity zone. Rather than relying only on varieties for your zone, consider planting an additional variety with a slightly shorter maturity. This strategy helps hedge against frost risk, improves the chance that one variety will catch the beneficial August rains and spreads out your harvest workload. (Today’s varieties have a range of 16 days between the fastest-maturing and slowest-maturing ones, so there’s sure to be one for your risk-comfort zone!)
Once you’ve identified the high-yielding varieties ideal for your climatic and comfort zone, ask local experts which ones pod higher from the ground. Bottom pod height matters because higher pods make for an easier harvest, especially for farmers with rocky or rolling land. Also, remember to factor in lodging resistance, another aspect of an easier harvest (and a reduced likelihood of white mould). Iron deficiency chlorosis (IDC) ratings are important to check as well. Last but not least, if using 30-inch planter row width, ensure you choose a bush type variety.