As soybean acres rise across Western Canada, new soybean varieties are keeping pace.
“We have been really ramping up our soybean portfolio over the last number of years and we have been able to put some pretty exciting products in both Manitoba and Saskatchewan, especially as the acreage has been increasing,” said Wayne Bennett, product market manager with Syngenta.
A leader in the soybean market, Syngenta will be coming into 2017 with two proven varieties and three new additions to its lineup.
“This past year we had four varieties and we will be dropping two and implementing three new varieties for 2017,” Bennett said. “From a portfolio perspective, this is probably one of the broadest portfolios in the industry, if we include Eastern Canada.”
Syngenta will be returning with S007-Y4, which has been on the market for three years and boasts strong emergence and dependable sclerotinia white mould resistance.
“The S007-Y4 variety is popular with growers in Manitoba but the M2 is certainly gaining popularity, especially as soybeans advance farther west as this soybean really fits those conditions,” Bennett said.
S0009-M2, which was launched this year, maintains medium plant height across variable environments and has tested well against iron deficiency chlorosis.
“If you were low on heat units you would want to start with M2. It has really opened a lot of doors for growers to put soybeans on their farm and differentiate their rotation,” Bennett said. “We continue to expand more and more in terms of numbers, so I would imagine growers are very happy with how it is performing.”
In 2017, Syngenta will be offering three new soybean varieties. All of which have outdone their departing counterparts.
“Growers are always looking for something that will give them more or better protection or higher yield outcomes. Generally, we won’t exchange something out of our portfolio unless it exceeds the current standard. So, it is always about moving the peg forward or fitting a niche,” Bennett said.
New additions will include S001-B1, a medium-tall plant with dependable standability with the Rps1c gene for phytophthora root rot protection.
“Our variety development probably takes three to four years for yield testing,” said Jake Delheimer, soybean breeder with Syngenta. “Phytophthora root rot resistance is a big trait that we look at and one that is a pretty easy trait to breed for. We use a lot of molecular markers and DNA technologies to ensure the new varieties will have resistance to that particular pathogen.”
The new S003-L3 will also hold strong phytophthora field tolerance but specifically for cool soils.
It is also designed to be broadly adapted across all yield environments and brings strong iron deficiency chlorosis tolerance.
“We really look at iron deficiency chlorosis, especially in the Red River Valley, as it is a big abiotic stress on the soybean,” Delheimer said.
The final addition to Syngenta’s 2017 soybean lineup is S006-W5, a variety with solid standability that is well suited for highly productive soils.
“Overall we start with over 100 varieties and start to narrow them down based on performance and yield or maturity and then look at what the portfolio and customers need,” Delheimer said.
The new varieties have been established in demonstration plots at the company’s 160-acre research farm located in Elm River near Portage la Prairie.
“We have seven locations, six internally and one externally, where we look at all new lines coming down,” Bennett said. “We have variety field evaluation trials taking place here and in Saskatchewan to demonstrate the new varieties.”
Bennett adds that he is pleased with the portfolio Syngenta has achieved.
“If you look at some of the adaptation trials, some of our varieties are leading some of those independent research trials. So, I would say we are pretty confident with where we are. Especially coming into the 2017 portfolio, we have filled a few gaps and there are some exciting new products coming forward,” Bennett said.