SOYVA Computer Program Selects Soybean Varieties

by C. Richard Maples Extension
Specialist - Agricultural Communications

Soybean producers can use computer technology to determine which varieties are best suited to each of their fields, says Dr. Lanny Ashlock, soybean agronomist for the Cooperative Extension Service, University of Arkansas.

"SOYVA, the Extension soybean variety selection program, determines which varieties are most and least likely to do well on a particular field,'' said Ashlock.

"In 1995, the SOWA program selected from 91 possible varieties. The 1996 version of the program will choose from at least that many."

All a grower has to do is answer 14 questions.

  1. In which region of the state is the field located?

  2. What type soil texture do you have?

  3. When do you plan to plant?

  4. Will the field be irrigated?

  5. What is the cyst nematode count (eggs per pint of soil)?

  6. Do you have a cyst nematode problem? If the answer is yes, which races (1, 6, 9 or 14)?

  7. Do you have a root knot problem?

  8. Is propanil (Stam, etc.) injury a potential problem?

  9. Do you plan to use metribuzin (Sencor/Lexone)?

  10. Do you have trouble with lodging?

  11. Is frogeye leaf spot a serious problem?

  12. Is stem canker a problem?

  13. Is Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) a problem?

  14. Does the field have a high level of soil chloride?

"SOWA keeps track of thousands of possible combinations of cultural practices and disease problems that can occur in a field," noted Ashlock. "Using the grower's data, the program selects varieties that avoid potential problems."

SOYVA classifies the 100 or so soybean varieties in the program as either highly recommended, recommended, or not recommended.

The highly recommended and recommended varieties are further categorized by their relative maturity: very early, prior to Oct. 1; early maturity, prior to Oct. 8; medium matu rity, Oct. 8-26; and late maturity, after Oct. 26.

"You should be able to take the SOYVA recommendation and your field's yield history and select one or more varieties from each maturity group," said Ashlock.

The SOYVA recommendation also lists yield results from the University of Arkansas's Variety Performance Tests.

Soybean growers can have the SOYVA program run for free at their county Cooperative Extension Service, or they can buy the program for $15 and run it at home

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