Soren Nielsen of Nielsen Seeds Ltd. invites producers to come and see what is new and improved in Soybeans and corn next week.
The Nielsen crop plots are located near PR 257 on Hwy 83 junction. Those unfamiliar with growing soybeans or corn may have their appetite whetted on the tour day. For those who are into beans and corn, new varieties and treatments may mean fine-tuning their cropping plans.
“On August 7, we are going to introduce what we are trialling this year. It’s not the same every year. Some varieties are new, and some become obsolete,” explains Nielsen. “We test them there before we ask anybody to spend any money on it.”
Nielsen Seeds is an independent seed retailer, dealing with a number of companies to provide seed for soybeans, corn, forages and cover crops.
Soren and his wife Rebecca run their seed business out of their home office and have a yard site at Woodnorth where they store and treat the seed they sell.
Just over four years ago, Nielsen saw soybeans as a cutting edge opportunity.
“Initially we took over a business that focused on soybeans. It was a very new crop in the area and we saw an interesting opportunity to get into something that wasn’t yet mainstream.”
In the trial plots, there are varieties of corn grown to produce grain corn, silage or a grazing product.
The soybean plots are beans for crushing (livestock feed rations) as well as some food grade IP (Identity Protected) beans.
“We are doing lots of different seed varieties, different seed treatments, inoculants, trying some seed dressing additives and a bunch of foliar products and fertility trials as well.”
Soybeans draw nitrogen from the air into the soil where they can use it for growth, and this process requires certain bacteria. The seed is inoculated and Nielsen says further inoculant will be place in the seed furrows.
The plot trials are run by a third-party research company from seeding to harvest and data collection.
While soybeans this year, in southwest Manitoba have been relatively free of any serious disease problems, the research addresses various issues that could come up such as are seen in other parts of the US and Canada.
“What we are trying to do with our plots is to collect some data and stay ahead of the problems that may arise.”
With advances in crop science every year, these small scale replicative plots are important.
“We’re playing around with fertility and different rates to try and see if there’s something we are missing in what we’re doing in our everyday practice, and how we have decided to grow soybeans around here.
Supper in the field
A meal in the field following the plot tour will provide an opportunity to visit. Nielsen says it’s also a way to show appreciation to existing customers.
Follow-up is an important part of the service Nielsen Seeds offers.
“We have a lot of people who will phone and ask questions – whether it’s for spraying, or they see something that looks odd in the field.
“Sometimes its just nice to get someone out to the field who is used to looking at the crop to reassure you, you are doing things right, especially if you are a little green with growing the crop. Right through harvest we like to make sure everything goes well. The odd time it doesn’t go so well and we’ve got to dig into that and find out why.”