Dakota Farmer

Researchers see yield increase in trials by switching between two hybrids on-the-go with hi-tech planter.

Curt Arens, Editor, Nebraska Farmer

January 7, 2014

1 Min Read

There was a 7-10 bushel per acre yield advantage to being able to switch hybrids on-the-go in trials conducted in South Dakota last year.

The trails were conducted by South Dakota State University, Raven Industries and DuPont Pioneer. Researchers switched back and forth between two hybrids to match better match soil types. The researchers used a Monsem twin row vacuum planter outfitted with Raven Industries's multi-hybrid precision planting technology.


The system allows the planter operator to switch from one set of the twin row boxes containing one hybrid to another set of boxes with another hybrid seamlessly, with only a slight shift noticed in a transition zone between varieties in the field.

Multi-hybrid planting provides opportunities for farmers operating on farms with great soil variability, says Peter Sexton, SDSU Southeast Research Farm manager.

"If you have a field with a lot of variability, you can match the varieties to the different soil types," says Peter Sexton, the SDSU Southeast Research farm manager who led the project. "You can plant hybrid lines with more horizontal root growth in wetter areas of the field, and lines that have more vertical root growth on the upland parts of the field."

Read more about multi hybrid planting in the January issue of Dakota Farmer (page 48). The magazine is available online.

Also, see Raven Industries' website, www.ravenprecision.com.

About the Author(s)

Curt Arens

Editor, Nebraska Farmer

Curt Arens began writing about Nebraska’s farm families when he was in high school. Before joining Farm Progress as a field editor in April 2010, he had worked as a freelance farm writer for 27 years, first for newspapers and then for farm magazines, including Nebraska Farmer.

His real full-time career, however, during that same period was farming his family’s fourth generation land in northeast Nebraska. He also operated his Christmas tree farm and grew black oil sunflowers for wild birdseed. Curt continues to raise corn, soybeans and alfalfa and runs a cow-calf herd.

Curt and his wife Donna have four children, Lauren, Taylor, Zachary and Benjamin. They are active in their church and St. Rose School in Crofton, where Donna teaches and their children attend classes.

Previously, the 1986 University of Nebraska animal science graduate wrote a weekly rural life column, developed a farm radio program and wrote books about farm direct marketing and farmers markets. He received media honors from the Nebraska Forest Service, Center for Rural Affairs and Northeast Nebraska Experimental Farm Association.

He wrote about the spiritual side of farming in his 2008 book, “Down to Earth: Celebrating a Blessed Life on the Land,” garnering a Catholic Press Association award.

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