A Critical Choice

Published in the South Dakota Soybean leader – Fall 2019

A Critical Choice

Seed selection is one of the most important management decisions farmers make each year. Once the seed is in the ground, there’s no turning back. Given the weather, late planting and production struggles of 2019, choosing what to plant in 2020 may be more challenging than usual.

In 2019, many farmers were forced to adjusting their cropping intentions because of planting delays from a cool, wet spring. Mustang Seeds President Terry Schultz says some growers were forced to exchange seed for an earlier maturing variety because of the compressed growing season.

Seed companies also face the same production challenges as farmers. Schultz says that could mean there could be some spot shortages in seed maturities farmers are hoping to plant in 2020.

“Just as farmers are likely to see some of their fields yielding below trend line, seed yields aren’t likely to be any different,” Schultz says.

Schultz says that if farmers know what they want to plant in 2020, it may be in the grower’s best interest to make their seed selection sooner rather than later to avoid any potential seed shortages.

“If farmers know what they want to plant, get orders in. Farmers in a corn-soybean rotation probably know what their going to plant on 90 percent of their farm,” Schultz explains. “Now is the time to lock in.”

Given the wet soil profile for much of South Dakota, Schultz says growers may need to look at shorter maturing varieties because planting could also be delayed in 2020.

Long View

Because of the difficult and wide-ranging production problems in 2019, Schultz advises against picking this year’s top performer to be next season’s workhorse variety. Instead, select consistent high performers with a track record of success.

“2019 is not going to be the year to see how varieties performed individually,” Schultz contends. “Look at aggregated results over a couple of years. This is the last year farmers should use to pick their highest yielder, instead, look at what you’ve planted historically and see how it performed in a more normal year.”

Seed choice is an individual decision because every farm is different. Soil type and disease pressure

like phytophthora, white mold or iron deficiency chlorosis are factors farmers need to consider when making their decision.

“Farmers will need varieties that can protect against those diseases,” Schultz adds.

New for 2020, Mustang Seeds has a full line of Enlist E3® soybeans that can be sprayed with glyphosate, glufosinate and 2-4D. Mustang Seeds also has the new Balance GTLL soybeans and Roundup Ready Xtend® traited soybeans. Mustang Seeds offers conventional, non-GMO varieties, including a 2.2 maturity.

“As an independent, family-owned company, we offer all the traits from all the providers,” Schultz says. “We do have the farmers best interest at heart, because if they’re not profitable, neither are we. We keep a wide range of varieties so we can customize a seed package that will work best on their farm.”

To learn more about what Mustang Seeds has to offer or to connect with a company representative, visit mustangseeds.com.