Nw soybean varieties offered for 2006 include some of the top performers in official variety trial (OVT) plots. Varieties listed were released for publication as of late September. Descriptions are provided by seed companies:

Asgrow is offering two new soybean varieties for the 2006 season.

AG4703 is a Roundup Ready, mid- to late-Group IV product that has consistently high yield potential across the Mid-South and Midwest. It has excellent emergence and standability and very good tolerance to sudden death syndrome.

AG4404 is a mid-Group IV product with high yield potential, excellent frogeye leaf spot tolerance and protection against Phytophthora and soybean cyst nematode.

Delta King Seed will offer four soybean varieties for 2006, all Roundup Ready varieties.

DK 4566 RR is a new mid-Group IV variety that works well in all soil types. It offers an excellent disease package and plant height. In official variety trial yield plots, it came out on top the past two seasons, especially shining in heavy soils. It offers some of the same benefits as the field-proven DK 4967 RR, including an excellent disease package and yield potential.

DK 5066 RR was introduced this past season and offers excellent plant height and disease ratings. It performs especially well on heavy soils. It features an indeterminate plant type with excellent yield potential.

DK 5161 RR has been a proven performer for several years across the Mid-South in all soil types. On heavy soil, it works best drilled. It has led the Mississippi yield trials in the early Group V OVT tests for the past three years. It also offers an excellent disease package.

DK 5567 RR, which has been available for two years, performs well on all soil types. It is an excluder for chloride soils, and it also provides an excellent disease package. It has been a top yielder in the Arkansas OVT tests for the past two years, and its high yield potential has been proven in other states' OVT's.

In related news, the USDA Agricultural Research Service and the University of Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station will release a new soybean germplasm could increase farmers' income.

JTN-5303 seeds will be released for use by breeders in developing and commercializing new cultivars. They will be maintained by the USDA/ARS in Jackson, Tenn., for five years. Small quantities of seed can be requested until supplies are exhausted.

JTN-5303 is characterized by high seed yields and high levels of resistance to multiple races of soybean cyst nematode (SCN). SCN is the most serious soybean pest in the United States. An infestation can reduce a field's yield by as much as 30 percent, with current estimates reducing American farmers' earnings by $500 million each year.

The soybean line, which was jointly developed by the USDA-ARS and UT Agricultural Experiment Station, is also highly resistant to potentially devastating and expensive fungal diseases including stem canker and frogeye leaf spot. It is moderately resistant to sudden death syndrome and experiences lower degrees of disease severity due to charcoal rot.

It is Group V that is well adapted to production in the Mid-South and Southeast.

e-mail: erobinson@primediabusiness.com