Soybeans can be grown for human consumption, animal feed, and biodiesel production. As farmers look to reduce feed costs or diversify markets, soybean acreage across Vermont is increasing. Local research is needed to identify varieties that are best adapted to this region. In an effort to support and expand the local soybean market throughout the northeast, the University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program (NWCS), with support from the Eastern Soybean Board, established a trial in 2021 to evaluate yield and quality of soybean varieties appropriate for the region. The NWCS team evaluated 29 commercially available varieties with maturity ratings from 0.7 to 2.8.
Overall, soybean varieties performed well averaging over 62 bu ac-1 despite very droughty conditions through much of the season. Under these conditions, all soybean varieties, ranging in relative maturity from 0.7 to 2.8, reached maturity and a harvestable moisture but all required additional drying to be stored safely. Although little pest and disease pressure was observed, some differences were still observed and highlight the importance of local variety evaluation in soybean variety selection. Overall, these data suggest that soybeans in maturity groups 0, 1, and 2 can produce high yields in Vermont’s northern climate.
Variety trials are important to a farmer’s success because they provide information which helps the farmer manage risk and choose varieties which have proven to have regional success and stability in our changing climate.
Read the full 2021 Conventional Soybean Variety Trial report linked here. Check our Research Results webpage for 2021 research reports as we post them throughout the winter. Happy reading!