It's a common fact that farmers are buying seed earlier these days compared to even the recent past. Maybe you've already booked all your sed. Even so, you may still have the opportunity to switch out hybrids or varieties within the company you've committed to. That may be tougher for corn than for soybeans, since the Indiana and national seed corn crop wasn't as good as the soybean crop. Hot-selling hybrids are likely already sold out for many companies.
The upcoming issue of Indiana Prairie Farmer which will hit your mailbox in just a few days features several articles about seed selection. Phil DeVillez, head of the independent hybrid and variety trials program at Purdue University, will discuss why it's important to check trial results, even after a rough year like 2011.
Those are the type of seasons when hybrids or varieties that can stand up to stress and drought, plus heat, emerge, he says. If you only got perfect conditions every year at every testing spot, it would be easy to select hybrids or varieties. Since that's not the case, it's important to find out which ones do better at the site beet matched to your farm.
An alternative is to take advantage of Purdue's multi-state data reporting. Unique to the Purdue program, a unique computer program makes comparison with similar testing programs at universities in Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio.
Shaun Casteel, who also comments in a different story in the upcoming issue, in Soy Basics, says that the multi-state data can help you discover those hybrids and varieties that not only yield the most but which are most consistent.
"Yield is a two-way proposition," he says. "You need varieties that yield well, but you also need consistency in that performance."
Both men agree that both the Purdue trial results and multi-state data are tools in your toolbox that can help you get the right hybrids and varieties selected, and then help you get them into the fields where they have the best chance to succeed.If a field has cyst nematode pressure and you know it, for example, there would be no point in planting a susceptible variety, even if it was the highest yielding entry in the entire plot. Field conditions must be a consideration.