The Nebraska Crop Improvement Association has announced that it is testing new crop soybean seed, which is currently falling below the normal germination rate. Few lots came in at or above 95 percent germination – the results are averaging in the 80 percent range.
Now, professionals from the Nebraska Crop Improvement Association are encouraging growers to check the germination rate for their soybean seed and adjust planting rates accordingly. Fungicides may be used to treat the crops under certain circumstances. This may be necessary for growers who are planting early into cold soils or have had chronic problems with seedling diseases, for instance.
In a typical year, soybean seed lots tested by the association range from 88 percent to 98 percent germination; this year’s current range is from 43 percent to 98 percent. As set by the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies, the minimum germination for certified soybean seed is 80 percent. The Nebraska Department of Agriculture has set a minimum of 75 percent for soybeans, in particular.
A wet fall that delayed harvest in seed-producing areas of Iowa, Illinois and Indiana – the sources for much of Nebraska’s seed – ultimately led to concern over soybean seed quality issues. Wet fall conditions also resulted in the development of several seed diseases.
For growers who are facing lower than normal germination rates, fungicide seed treatments and increasing the seeding rate may help. Insecticide seed treatments are unnecessary, unless planting has taken place in areas where bean leaf beetle feeding may occur.