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Selecting soybean seed for 2021 plantingSelecting soybean seed for 2021 planting

Considerations for soybean seed selection from the Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board.

November 9, 2020

3 Min Read
If a new label for dicamba products is not forthcoming, XtendFlex varieties will still have a viable in-season herbicide option.Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board

Selection of seed for planting the next year’s crop is arguably the most important decision made by soybean producers. This is especially so because of the myriad herbicide tolerance traits (HTT) contained in available varieties. This, coupled with the presence of and problems resulting from herbicide-resistant weeds, makes the seed choice increasingly important with each passing year.

The year 2020 brought another variable to the table, the de-labeling of dicamba herbicide for use on dicamba-tolerant (DT) soybean varieties. Since a significant portion of the U.S. soybean crop is now planted to DT varieties, and a large percentage of the seed available for 2021 plantings will be of varieties with the DT trait, this created a dilemma for producers as they decide what varieties to plant in 2021. At press time, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a new 5-year registration for three approved dicamba formulations, creating more clarity for growers planning the 2021 crop.

As shown in a summary of herbicide-tolerance traits in 2020 offerings from selected seed companies, there were numerous HTT choices for producers to select from.

As of this writing, the HTT’s shown in the appended article should be available in varieties for 2021 plantings. However, the de-labeling of dicamba herbicides for use on DT varieties will devalue this trait unless a new label is approved between now and 2021 planting time. 

According to knowledgeable sources, there is a good chance there will be new labels for dicamba use on DT varieties in 2021. Those labels will likely be available in the coming weeks/months.

Dicamba-tolerant soybean varieties are expected soon. These varieties will be tolerant to dicamba, glyphosate, and glufosinate. DT soybeans have received full approval for U.S. plantings, but are pending approval in certain export markets.

European Union has approved the DT trait and this new offering of seed varieties with tolerance to dicamba, glyphosate, and glufosinate will be available for 2021 plantings. 


  • Producers are reminded that no dicamba may be used in-crop with DT soybeans unless and/or until approved, and no dicamba formulations are currently registered for such use in the 2021 season.

  • Varieties with tolerance to both glyphosate and a new HPPD/Group 27 herbicide trait may not be available for planting at all Mid-South locations. Check with your local distributor from more information.

  • DT varieties will be available for 2021 planting only if regulatory approvals are forthcoming.

  • It is imperative that producers stay in contact with their seed supplier to keep up with the latest developments regarding dicamba labels and availability of seed for DT varieties that are tolerant to dicamba herbicides, and determine the availability of seed of varieties that are tolerant to the auxin herbicide 2,4-D and might be used in lieu of DT varieties if a new dicamba label is not issued.

  • Producers are also encouraged to be aware of the latest information on the dicamba herbicide re-registration process and steps to take if dicamba herbicide products are not available for over-the-top applications in 2021.


The Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board oversees the state soy checkoff investments on behalf of all Mississippi soybean farmers to increase soybean farmer profitability by investing in ongoing public research and extension programs that address Mississippi production challenges, and driving the adoption of best management practices developed through research and ensuring the sustainability of Mississippi soybean production. For more, go to mssoy.org.

Editor's note: Larry Heatherly is the MSPB science writer.

Source: The Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

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