13 thoughts for seed selection

Seed selection decisions must be made carefully each year. Arion, Iowa, farmer Kelly Garrett has a systematic three-step process when it comes to making his choices for the upcoming growing season.

  1. Identify hybrids we want to retain. We’ve got our tried-and-true hybrids, the bread and butter of our operation that we’ve used over the years that we’re comfortable with and are still performing very well for us. This includes new hybrids we tried and liked.
  2. Choose hybrids we want to kick out. These are hybrids we’ve used over the years that aren’t performing for us.
  3. Pick new hybrids to bring in. How the first two steps of my seed selection process goes, determines how much room there is for new hybrids to try. For 2021 I have decided to plant some irrigated corn in 15 inch. We’ve identified some varieties from a couple of different companies that we think will put two ears on every stalk.

Here are 10 of the most important factors other XtremeAg farmers consider when choosing what corn and soybean varieties to plant on their farms.

Lee Lubers of Gregory, South Dakota

  • Good early emerging hybrid. Good culture and scores are very important in our no-till environment in the northern Plains.
  • Flex-ear hybrid. We need to be able to adapt with variable-rate populations, and rainfall: above normal – and especially below normal in our environment.
  • Defensive hybrid. If anybody comes to us and says they have a racehorse hybrid, they can take that down the road. What we feel we are always going to miss, and what we’ve seen before, is consistency. So, we look for a defensive hybrid.

Kevin Matthews of East Bend, North Carolina

  • Defensive package. We’re looking for something that’s at the top of the game on yield, but yet very defensive in adverse conditions. We look at our variety trials and our neighbor’s variety trials to see what the biggest challenges to our crops might be.

Matt Miles of McGehee, Arkansas

  • Yield. You’ve got to have the yield to continue going.
  • Adaptability to the soil type. We have so many different soil types in our area. One of the major mistakes you can make is putting the wrong variety in the wrong soil type.
  • Standability. Nobody likes to pick down corn or cut down beans. There’s a tremendous yield loss and no efficiency with the combine when you’re running like that.

Dan Luepkes of Oregon, Illinois

  • Healthy plants.  If I can’t get good plant health in a hybrid, I don’t want it. If we find a hybrid that has fallen down through the year, for whatever reason, I usually cross it off the list. I’m not very forgiving.
  • Traits. Sometimes a VT will outyield a stack. We’ll always look at that and we’ll buy the VT then. We’re always looking at what will get the most yield out, and we’ll address the insects by other means.
  • Company. I want a company that stands behind what they’re producing and selling to you.
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