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Soyabean Cultivation Guide

Maximising soybean yield by prospective seed / variety selection

Productive farmers use right, high-yielding, certified seed of current/new varieties suited for their area. Variety selection and better crop production/management practices can improve productivity of soybean. Thus seed selection is a very critical decision guided by certain criteria. Growing best adapted varieties can aid productivity to a large extend. Semi-determinate to determinate, erect, non-lodging plant types with broad leaves for maximum light interception, rapid leaf area index, fast seed filling and 95–100 maturity days is ideally preferred for high yield in soybean.

Criteria to be taken care while seed selection is:
1. Maturity
Choose varieties with maturity in accordance with heat unit rating for the area, geography and operations. Time to flowering and mature confers adaptation of a crop to a specific geographical area. Soybean is a photoperiod-sensitive, short day plant influenced by day-length and sunshine hours. Full-season varieties make maximum use of the growing season and maximize yield. In white hilum type specialty soybean, shorter-season varieties help ensures quality at harvest. Soybean of 105 to 120 days maturity is preferred in North plains. Central and South India takes varieties of 85 to 100 days maturity.

2. Disease and pest tolerance
Disease and pest tolerance is another important concern for good yield. The major diseases which reduce soybean productivity in India are yellow mosaic virus, rust, rhizoctonia, anthracnose, etc. The destructive pests of soybean include stem fly, girdle beetle, foliage feeders, stem borers, gram pod borer and stink bug. Enhancing soil health by using bio-control agents controls root diseases and nematodes. Use of resistant or tolerant varieties is the best, effective and economic way of disease control. Select hybrids and varieties with resistance to diseases that is prevalent in your area. When choosing a variety, look at the conditions that aided its high yields. For instance, if a variety performs well in a disease-free environment, but offers resistance to diseases common in your area, you should probably avoid this seed type.

PestPrevalent region
Blue beetle (Cneorane spp.)Western Madhya Pradesh
Leaf miner (Aproaerema modicella Deventor)Maharashtra, Karnataka
Cotton grey weevil (Myllocerus spp.)Delhi, Punjab
Bihary hairy caterpillar (Spilosoma oblique)Tarai region of Uttarakand, Western Madhya Pradesh
Leaf folder (Hedylepta indicate Fabricius)Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh
Pink pod borer (Cydiaptychora sp)North Karnataka
Leaf defoliator (Spotoptera exigua)Central and West Madhya Pradesh
DiseasePrevalent region
Pod blight, Bacterial spot, RustNorth Hill region
Yellow mosaic, Bacterial spot, Rust, Charcoal rot, Pod blight, Cercospora leaf spotNorth plain region
Bud blight, Bacterial blight, Mycothricium Rust, Alterneria leaf spot Central India
Bacterial blight, Alterneria leaf spot, RustSouth India

3. Yield
For farmers yield is an important criterion. Consider the yield performance of a variety in a locality over years. Variety chosen should be consistent in yield. High pods per unit area, seed filling, number of seeds per pod and seed size are foremost for high yields in soybeans. Todays improved varieties can yield about 3–4 t/ha.

4. Other considerations
Additional factors to be considered are
• Plant type: Full season varieties with bushy growth habit may be useful for wider row spacing. Varieties that are determinate, compact, adaptive to high plant population and narrow inter-row spacing are preferable.

• Seed quality: Good emergence, vigour and acceptable seed storability are must in soybean varieties. Seed quality and seed treatment also helps. Yellow glossy seed with minimum germination of 70 percent after 8–9 months of ambient storage is essential. Farmers should practice good storage for good seed establishment in field. Seeds harvested in November should be stored at 14% moisture or lower until May – June for sowing in July. The seeds with high germination (> 80-90%) could be recommended for one season storage. Storing soybean seeds beyond first planting season at room temperature may be unsuccessful. For second planting season soybean could be safely stored at lower 4-5° C temperature and 50-60 % humidity.

• Doubling cropping

• Use for quality: Generally soybean has 40 percent protein and 20 percent oil. New varieties are looking for higher oil and methionine content, lower anti nutritional factors (trypsin inhibitor), beany flavor (lipoxygenase) reduction, lesser beany flavour and linolenic acid.

• Varietal purity: The minimum standard set for physical purity in soybean is 98 percent. Genetic purity is set to be cent percent.

• Shattering resistance good seed longevity: Upcoming varieties are bred with tolerance to shattering/pod dehiscence for better yield. The varieties should be able to withstand 7–10-day delay in harvesting after reaching maturity for harvest. Most of the recently released improved varieties are tolerant to pod shattering and have longevity.

• Hilum colour: Yellow hilum soybeans are generally the preferred type for the export market.

• Plant height: In India, varieties of height 60-80cm are grown in North Hill and Plain regions. Central and South India grows soybean varieties of height 40-70cm. For South taller varieties are preferable. Long duration types could be tall in stature.

• Seed size: Seed size is said in terms of hundred seed weight. Though seed size is as such not an important criteria, there is a correlation found between seed size and seed vigour. Bold seeded varieties are likely to lose viability faster than small seeded ones. Seed vigour is not satisfactory when hundred seed weight of soybean exceeds 15g weight i.e., when seeds are larger. Small seeds/seeds below 10g hundred seed weight are found to be good in vigour even after one year of storage. But then the oil and yield level of small seeded varieties is lower. Hence, average sized seeds of 12-13g hundred seed weight are preferable.

• Seed cost: The cost should be reasonable and enough to be met with the profit due to the yield advantage of the crop variety sown.

• Standability: Standability is also to be considered when choosing seed. Fertile and moist soils may lead to lodging in plants. Standability is controlled by genetic factors, but other factors such as environment and seeding rate also plays role.

ZoneRecommended variety
North Hill (Himachal Pradesh, Hills of Uttarakhand)Himso1588, Hara Soya, VLS65
North Plain (Punjab,Haryana,Delhi,North East plains of Uttar Pradesh, West Bihar)Pusa 9712, Pusa 12, SL958
Central zone (Madya Pradesh, Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, West Maharashtra)JS 20-29,JS 20-34
Southern Zone (Karnataka, Tamilnadu,Andhra Pradesh,Kerala, Suth Maharashtra)DSb21,KDS 344, MACS 1188
North Eastern Zone (Assam, Bengal, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Eastern Bihar, Orissa, Chattisgarh)RKS18

Ambika Rajendran*, Dhanadapani Raju, SK Lal
*Scientist, ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Pusa campus, New Delhi-110012

Soybean News

Soyabean News: On fresh buying the soyabean oil rises.

At the wholesale oils and oilseed market soyabean oil prices firmed up by Rs 50 per quintal on fresh buying by Vanaspati millers.
However, other non-edible and edible oils moved in a narrow range in limited deals, settled around previous levels.

Read More

Soyabean News: Global market lift soyabean futures by Rs 42.

As participants widened positions, taking positive cues from global market, Soyabean futures traded higher by Rs 42 to Rs 3,812 per quintal today.

Reports of a firming trend in global markets mainly lifted soyabean prices at futures trade, said Marketmen.

At the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange, soyabean delivery for most-active January rose by Rs 42, or 1.11 per cent, to Rs 3,812 per quintal, with an open interest of 93,110 lots.

Soyabean for delivery in December advanced by Rs 33, or 0.90 per cent, to Rs 3,707 per quintal, having an open interest of 72,950 lots.


MoU signed for providing quality soyabean seeds

Rajasthan State Seeds Corporation (RajSeeds) has signed an MoU with Maharashtra Seeds corporation for ensuring availability of soybean seeds during the Kharif crops season.

"The MoU has been signed with the Maharashtra Seeds Corporation for providing farmers soybean seeds of high quality.

As much as 30,000 quintal seeds will be exchanged between Rajasthan and Maharashtra under the MoU," RajSeeds MD Sewaram Swami said.

After testing of samples, high quality seeds will be provided to farmers, he said.

EPA Approves Seed Treatment to Protect Against Soybean Sudden Death Syndrome-Nematodes

US - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved Bayer CropScience's application for the registration of ILeVO®, the only seed treatment that protects the root system against infections caused by the Sudden Death Syndrome fungus and has activity against dangerous nematodes in the seed zone.

Soybean growers across the country are constantly looking for ways to protect their crops from the fungus that causes Soybean Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) and nematodes, specifically the Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN) – two of the top five soybean yield robbing pests. In 2014 environmental conditions were such that growers experienced higher than normal pressure from SDS. Until now, there was no seed treatment available to protect soybean plants against both SDS and nematodes.

“Our field trials have shown that soybean seeds treated with ILeVO early in the season give valuable yield benefit across geographies and seed varieties,” said Jennifer Riggs, Bayer SeedGrowth product development manager. “Bayer CropScience is very excited to bring the first seed treatment fungicide/nematicide solution for SDS and major nematodes to the market.”

During research and field trials from 2011-2014, ILeVO was used on 181 fields with visual symptoms of SDS. In those trials, yield benefits ranged from 4 to10 bu/A over current fungicide/insecticide seed treatments. Even when visual symptoms are not present, the results estimated growers could see an average yield increase of 2 bu/A when using ILeVO as part of an early season management approach.

ILeVO Comparison crop

SDS is a major issue in soybean-growing regions, causing massive destruction to soybean growers’ crops all across the United States. First seen in Arkansas in 1971, this deadly disease now has been documented in nearly every state that grows soybeans – and the stakes couldn’t be higher. According to the United Soybean Board, from 2009 to 2011, average losses from SDS in the United States were estimated at 42 million bushels per year, and the disease is spreading and intensifying.

The impact on yield depends on the growth stage at the onset of symptoms, as yield losses are greater when symptoms develop in early reproductive stages. By protecting the root system early in the growth stages, specifically the seed zone, against the SDS fungus and nematodes, it allows the plant to be healthier from the start for higher yield potential. Previously, growers had limited options when it came to SDS management: seed variety tolerance and delayed planting dates. By adding ILeVO to their Integrated Pest Management (IMP) program, growers can achieve higher yields at harvest.

Daren Mueller, assistant professor at Iowa State University said that growers should focus on an integrated approach to SDS management. “While we do have some levels of resistance to the disease in many of the maturity groups, there are no soybeans that are completely immune to SDS. Having an integrated management approach with the addition of products such as ILeVO would provide a sound set of tools for growers to protect their crop when resistance may not be enough. We’ve tested ILeVO, and it appears to be a very effective product in preventing damage from SDS,” stated Mueller.

ILeVO and Poncho/VOTiVO® combine for unmatched root and plant protection with three modes of action against early-season fungus, insects and nematodes to deliver higher yield potential. ILeVO seed treatment is applied to the seed, which means less direct exposure to the environment compared to other crop protection methods of application. ILeVO is available for the 2015 growing season.

New Monsanto offering: Omega 3 fortified soyabean

August 28, 2014:

US biotech firm Monsanto is now trying to connect with consumers of food products with its latest offerings in pipeline.

The St Louis-based firm is now looking at introducing soyabeans that are rich in Omega 3 and have lower transfatty acids.

“We are in the final phase of getting regulatory approval to these two new products and hope to get it completed in 12-18 months,” said Robert T Fraley, Executive Vice-President and Chief Technology Officer, Monsanto Company.

The bean which will be rich in Omega 3 has been branded as Soymega. Omega 3 is a fatty acid found in fish, some seeds and nuts.

These acids are required for better functioning of the body and provide health benefits such as reducing risk of heart disease.

Fraley said the Omega 3 gene for Soyamega has been derived from an algae. The other soyabean product will be free of trans fatty acid and has been named Vistive Gold.

It has got a health profile like olive oil, according to Fraley. One product in the pipeline and of interest to India could be wheat which is resistant to weeds, pests and is tolerant to drought.

Monsanto is in the final phase of development of Bolgard III cotton and it could be launched commercially in 2016.

This cotton trait will have resistance to pests such as boll worm, pink worm and army worm.

"Agriculture of future cannot be seen alone through farming. Gujarat gave us the milk model, similar model needs to be replicated for fruits and vegetables, job creation, income and inclusiveness will come together.


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