Eric Nelson

Eric Nelson, DEKALB Asgrow agronomist for the Southern Red River Valley

The European Commission authorized XtendFlex technology, and with that approval, farmers here can plant XtendFlex crops in 2021.

Products with XtendFlex technology have genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate, glufosinate and dicamba.

Forty-seven new soybean varieties, exclusive to the Asgrow brand, will be available across the U.S. for 2021, said Clint Chaffer, Asgrow brand manager. Asgrow expects to supply XtendFlex soybean seed to plant over 10 million U.S. acres next year.

To prepare for the 2021 launch, Asgrow products have been tested in expansive, nationwide field trials so farmers, dealers and licensees can learn and experience the latest technology.

“It’s going to be the largest trait launch in Asgrow history,” Chaffer said, adding that Asgrow also released Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans with dicamba and glyphosate herbicide in 2016, another large trait launch. “There is just a wide range of products that will be available for our farmers to try.”

He added that the varieties are “almost region specific” to meet the agronomic challenges that soybean farmers may face.

“We are excited, too. Not only do we have the genetics and the traits, but this is just the latest technology,” he said. “Continuing down that path, to take your farm to that next level – it’s always a good decision to keep an eye on that next technology.”

Southern Red River Valley

A number of Asgrow XtendFlex varieties are slated for North Dakota and northwest Minnesota.

These include AG07XF1, AG09XF0, AG10XF1, AG12XF1, AG13XFO and AG15XF1, said Eric Nelson, DEKALB Asgrow agronomist for the Southern Red River Valley.

(Note: AG stands for Asgrow, the numeral stands for the maturity, XF stands for XtendFlex, and a 0 or 1 stands for release in 2020 or 2021.)

“Overall performance was really good,” Nelson said. “All of those products have agronomics that will fit, and we’ll certainly need to position them based on tolerance to iron deficiency chlorosis (IDC), soybean cyst nematode (SCN) and white mold.”

Conducting trials across the region, Nelson said that the AG07XF1 is a narrow, high-yielding variety. It is susceptible to SCN.

AG09XF0 will be the most broadly-placed across the region, according to Nelson. This variety offers very good white mold resistance, as well as a phytophthora-resistance package. It was also one of the top yielding varieties across the region’s XtendFlex trials.

“Position AG09XF0 away from high pH soils, salts and IDC-prone areas as its tolerance to IDC is average,” he said.

AG10XF1 beans have excellent IDC resistance, but supplies will be more limited than the AG09XF0, he added.

AG13XFO offered good IDC resistance and good SCN resistance. The beans were taller than some varieties with excellent standability.

“AG13XFO is lacking was a missing major phytophthora-resistance gene, position on better-drained soils,” he said.

The trials on the later-maturing soybeans – AG12XF1, AG13XFO and AG15XF1– were affected by frost on Sept. 8-9. These varieties looked great ahead of the frost, but harvested yields were similar to the earlier-maturing soybeans.

The region has experienced two years of very wet conditions with widespread prevented planting in 2019. The 2020 growing season started out wet in some regions. Conditions dried out in August for most farmers.

“The recommendations are to stay with what is normal for you and do the best job you can at planting time,” Nelson said. “Soybeans generally mature in middle to late September (because of day length) and reach harvest (about the same time).”

Most farmers in his region select 2-4 soybean varieties to plant to the entire farm.

“If you are positioning products across your farms for different situations, you are planting one variety on your more IDC-prone grounds, you’re planting a different variety where you don’t have the same amount of IDC issues,” he said. “The same thing with phytophthora or white mold. Where you are taking those better products, you can get to 2-4 varieties pretty quickly.”

Nelson added that many farmers are setting up their crews with row crop planters for planting corn, and air seeders to plant soybeans simultaneously. With earlier planting, seed treatments are very important, he reminds farmers.

Asgrow officials say there is plenty of seed available, although farmers who want to be certain to use a specific hybrid will want to book their seed early.

“A lot of these decisions are made in the cab of the combine. We are talking about 2021 purchases and the 2020 corn crop is still in the field. That is where it becomes important for not only having the different early order programs and incentives, but having access to the data,” Chaffer said.