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Knowing What Seed You Planted Can Get Complicated

Knowing What Seed You Planted Can Get Complicated
Crop labels take on new significance because many traits are involved.

Suppose you're planting corn with several Bt traits, some for corn borer and rootworm, in one field.  Both varieties were treated with Poncho 1250 and refuge seed was included in the bag. Can you remember all of those factors?

Now complicate things even further. Suppose you have a seed supply wagon. This one happens to be a sturdy gravity wagon with an inside central divider to carry two varieties at once. You have a 24-row planter, and you put corn from one side of the wagon in one of the central fill tanks, and corn for the other side in the other tank.

Know what you plant: Seed labels that fit in these handy pouches spell out all you need to know about the hybrid you're about to plant.

It's all pretty complicated, but it has a payoff. What you can do is compare the two hybrids as strip trials side-by-side over several acres. If you plant enough acres, you can get a feel for how the two hybrids perform on your own farm.

There are actually now harvest programs for combine software that can track the planting pattern so that the program can tabulate hybrid by hybrid results over the entire field where you planted both hybrids.

Some seed tenders are now adding sleeves over each compartment on the side of the wagon or tender so that a farmer with lots of land to plant can slip the seed label from the hybrid in the hopper into the holder. Then he constantly knows which hybrid is which, and can double-check himself.

Seed companies are trying to make it easier to remember by providing those large-size labels with each lot of seed that clearly describes the makeup of that seed. Farmers can then transfer that information to a recordkeeping system and later track the progress of the two hybrids. It's not easy, and there's a lot to remember. But it may help you make better choices down the road.

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