Selecting a soybean variety is one of the most important decisions a producer can make in order to have a successful season. To help Louisiana soybean producers select the most suitable variety, the LSU AgCenter conducts an Official Variety Trial (OVT) and Core-block Demonstration Plots.
In addition to the OVT, the LSU AgCenter collaborates with soybean producers to evaluate soybean varieties directly on farms. For these core-block demonstration plots, LSU AgCenter parish agents cooperate with the producers to plant, maintain and harvest strip trials submitted by seed companies and university soybean breeding programs.
These demonstrations provide valuable yield data from local growing conditions and agronomic practices. In some cases, observations from these large plots can result in identification of varieties that are resistant to a number of soilborne maladies.
This Year’s Lineup
In 2020, 11 seed companies and two university soybean breeding programs submitted varieties to be evaluated in the core-block demonstrations. Eighteen demonstrations were planted across 11 parishes (see map).
The demonstrations were divided by maturity group (MG). A demonstration consisted of varieties with a MG of 3.7 to 4.4; 4.5 to 4.9; or 5.0 to 5.6. The number of varieties submitted for each MG were seven (MG 3.7 to 4.4), 20 (MG 4.5 to 4.9) and 16 (MG 5.0 to 5.6).
The yield data from the OVT and core-block demonstrations will be published by the LSU AgCenter in the annual soybean variety testing summary. The 2020 results will be published following harvest to assist with 2021 variety selections and planting decisions.
The variety publication for the 2020 growing season can be found at 2020 Soybean Variety Yields and Production Practices.
When choosing a variety, it is important to consider performance and stability. A producer should evaluate varieties that perform the best in an environment similar to their own and varieties that perform well over multiple environments.
When possible, variety performance over multiple environments and multiple years should be considered.