At a field day we recently attended in Ontario, a researcher at one of the stations was telling us about his goal to achieve a yield target of 100 bushels (about 2.5 tonnes) per acre. To accomplish that, he is promoting intensive management based on an increased use of fertilizers and the application of fungicides.
Considering all the factors that producers in Quebec cannot control, achieving an average yield of 2.5 t/acre over large areas is a major feat (if not fiction!). On the other hand, from a completely different perspective, economic profitability that could result from a yield of 2.5 t/acre with GMO soybean intended for human consumption is realistically achievable for the top producers in each region, that is, the top 25% with the highest delivered and registered yields for a single variety.
To better illustrate this, here is an example with the Marula variety, which was delivered during the 2018 harvest.
On average, yields for this group ranged from 1.63 to 2.06 t/acre. For the same economic return and taking into account the variety premium as well as herbicide and seed costs, the results are as follows:
- 1.63 t/acre of Marula is equivalent to 2.03 t/acre of GMO soybean;
- 2.06 t/acre of Marula is equivalent to 2.57 t/acre of GMO soybean.
Reality is catching up with fiction! The challenge for all producers is to maintain that same level of profitability over large areas. To do so, they have to adapt to the different soil conditions, position the right varieties accordingly, and conduct follow-ups with their representatives during the season to ensure the best possible diagnosis of the crop’s condition.