Planning for the next growing season often means a farmer must make numerous decisions about seed varieties, crop rotation and more. In particular, variety selections often prove to be challenging. One must compare the results of varieties planted this year with the potential of new varieties introduced to the market and those not yet tried and how those varieties will stand up to the possible elements of next year’s growing season.
Fortunately, when it comes to variety selection, soybean farmers have constant, free access to the Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board’s (MSPB) Variety Selector. The online tool features searchable data from variety trials conducted around the state, on various soil types and in irrigated and non-irrigated fields. Results from the 2012 variety trials are now accessible through the tool on the MSPB website, www.mssoy.com. Farmers who frequent the site will notice upgrades to the tool, including enhanced search options and other user-friendly advancements.
“All of the features of the variety selection application tool remain the same but with significant upgrades,” said Larry Heatherly, MSPB Research & Technology Transfer Coordinator. “We want to give farmers access to every piece of data available, and I think we have accomplished that. Overall, the tool allows farmers to effectively research varieties and select those that fit their production system of particular planting dates, soil types, tolerance to certain herbicides and pests, and location.”
MSPB partners with Mississippi State University (MSU) to conduct the MSU Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station’s Variety Testing Program. These trials test nearly 250 soybean varieties and breeding lines to evaluate their pest resistance, agronomic characteristics, and yield across the state. The test plots, planted in key production areas in the state, also enable researchers to collect information on naturally occurring pests in those areas.
With MSPB’s Variety Selector, farmers can access trial data from 2009 to 2012 and search for varieties based on yield, trait, soil type, location, and much more. The tool allows farmers to efficiently compare varieties and export the data to a spreadsheet for later use.