From the first cross to packaging and sale, the journey of a Credenz® soybean seed is anywhere from six to eight years. The science involved in the transition from high-performing germplasm to a viable product takes the highest level of expertise, years of experimental and competitive trials, and the work of agronomists, seed development specialists and pathologists to ensure that Credenz soybean seeds, with Smart Genetics, are ready for the marketplace. This meticulous seed breeding process is what has catapulted the seed brand into the Top 10 in three short years.
“Growers are concerned with yield more than anything else because that puts money in their pocket,” said Brett Naylor, soybean variety development manager. “Growers like our performance and they’ve seen the history of our success. They believe Bayer and Credenz will deliver on their farms.”
There are four soybean breeding stations across the US that are focused on different maturity groups and Naylor knows the soybean journey well. He is responsible for pre-commercial germplasm testing and works closely with Bayer breeding and soybean agronomy groups and seed partners to set up development trials to capture information about possible varieties to commercialize. His small plot experimental trials are usually spread throughout the country, two to three in each state. Naylor runs about 40 trials in various locations to maintain accuracy and stay on the cusp of seed innovation.
“We work with many potential varieties that are replicated two or three times in experimental trials, which allows for good indication of how a variety will perform against regional disease, weed and pest pressures. If we repeatedly test in multiple locations and perform checks, we can remove some of the variability and error,” added Naylor.
Naylor explained that most of what he tests does not make it to the marketplace, a result of the strong commitment Bayer has to address soybean agronomic needs and deliver state-of-the-art solutions. Varieties that fail to perform well or might not have long term potential are unlikely to be developed. Similarly, all varieties receive disease screening via a pathologist prior to any commercial release. This minimizes any varietal susceptibility to disease before it could become an issue. Any soybean variety that comes to market must be superior to what is already commercially available.
After screening is complete, the varieties given permission to move forward are run through replicated trials on another 10-30 locations and data is collected. Variety selections are again made for another round of testing for a second year. The test plots get narrowed down to only the most superior varieties, and it is those that enter the Credenz® bag.
For 2018, the new variety options have excellent agronomics and standability, are high yielding and stable performers across the upper Midwest. Naylor shared recommendations for variety selection. “For growers who want a variety that stands well, is at the top of every trial and has good iron deficiency chlorosis tolerance, CZ 1028 LL is an excellent choice. Another top varietal performer, CZ 2928 LL, yields well in a late Maturity Group 2, stands tall and is out yielding competitor varieties in trials by 2 to 3 bushels per acre.”
“The background story is important, it shows growers their investment is worthwhile. They want to plant a soybean seed that will lead to a history of profit and success on their farms, and high-yielding Credenz varieties will make that happen,” Naylor said.