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2019 Soybean Variety Selection (Part 1): Tools to Assist with Soybean Variety Selection
Author: Jeremy Ross, Extension Agronomist - Soybeans

Jeremy Ross, Extension Agronomist/Professor – Soybean

With the problems that many soybean producers experienced during the 2018 growing season, many are trying to put 2018 behind them and hoping that 2019 will be much better.  The first challenge that soybean producers face before the growing season can even start is selecting soybean varieties that will obtain high grain yields on their fields.  As we all know, “every shoe doesn’t fit every foot”.  When it comes to picking a variety, the more you know about a variety the better the chances of obtaining the maximum yield potential of that variety. The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture (UASDA) recommends soybean varieties that have been tested in the Arkansas Crop Variety Improvement Program’s Soybean Performance Tests.  Each year, seed companies enter between 250-300 individual soybean varieties to be tested across several locations. When selecting varieties, look for locations with similar soil textures as your fields where these varieties will be planted. To identify varieties with “stable” yield, compare yield performance across multiple locations and years. In addition to data from the UASDA, examine yield data from other University variety testing programs, County variety demonstrations, and company yield data. 

When it comes to picking a soybean variety, most producers want to plant the variety that topped the yield charts.  This may work in some situations, but there are other varietal factors to consider when selecting a soybean variety to increase the chances that the variety in question can reach its maximum yield potential. These other factors include herbicide tolerances, relative maturity, chloride tolerance, disease/nematode resistance, and other agronomic characteristics.  A variety that is not adapted or lacking resistance to certain pest will have a lower probability of reaching its maximum yield potential if that variety is placed into an adverse environment.  For example, a variety may have a high yield in the absence of Root-knot Nematode (RKN), but if this variety is lacking resistance to RKN and is placed in a field with a RKN population, the chances of achieving the maximum yield of that variety is reduced, 

With that being said, the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture develops several publication to assist soybean producers with making soybean variety selections.  These publications for 2019 are:

This publication contains the results of the official soybean variety tests for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.  Additional information about variety testing can be found at

This publication contains yield data from the Arkansas Soybean Performance Tests along with additional data including herbicide tolerances, disease and nematode ratings, agronomic characteristics, and chloride sensitivity ratings.

Many producers rely on the use of metribuzin to provide residual control of many annual grasses and broadleaf weed in soybean production.  With the genetic diversity of commercially available soybean varieties, there are significant differences in the ability of certain soybean varieties to tolerate labeled rates of metribuzin.  This publication lists the tolerances of the soybean varieties tested in the Arkansas Soybean Performance Tests.

In some instances, multiple seed companies may have a genetically identical soybean variety.  This publication list commercially available varieties that are common across different seed companies.

Additional information of soybean production in Arkansas can be found at following website:

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