Blogging by the Bushel
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By: Amy Battles – Mercer Landmark agronomist

As we progress further into harvest season it is time to make some decisions regarding hybrid corn and soybean selection for next year. Allow me to preface this by saying, your sales reps understand that you want to wait until harvest is over to make the final decision, and we completely agree! All orders that are made this time of year can be changed, but we cannot change the amount of discounts available during harvest versus the winter months. Not only are there very hefty pre-pay discounts, but there are also several programs available through Mercer Landmark seed partners that reward you for simply placing a tentative order.

A key word that comes to mind when selecting corn hybrids and soybean varieties for this coming year is CONSISTENCY. I believe Bob Nielsen of Purdue University summarizes it best, “How do you identify consistent performers that will likely perform well for you? The secret lies in looking for trials that evaluate hybrids over multiple locations. Multiple testing locations in a single year represent possible weather patterns your farm may encounter in the future. Weather variability influences hybrid performance more than any other variable, because weather interacts with most of the other yield limiting factors. If a hybrid performs consistently well over many sites (i.e., weather patterns), then it will likely perform well on your farm in the future.”

Another comment we hear a lot, “Well how come seed companies are always coming out with new numbers? I have had really good luck with that number the last 5 years.” The next keyword that comes to my mind is TRUST. Seed companies are NOT going to introduce a new hybrid that does not have an advantage over its replacement. It is the duty of your seed company and your Mercer Landmark Agronomy Sales Rep to study, test, and research the hybrids that we promote. Trust us when we recommend a new number, we aren’t just picking that one because it did well in a plot we saw, we are choosing it for YOU because based on your soil, farming practices, fertility, etc it is a perfect match.

A new tool available this year is YIELDPOP.COM, I am really excited about this website, it is full of third party yield data and can not only be sorted by zip code, but also produces charts showing how each hybrid yields based on soil type, population, and tillage practices. Another website to follow is ANSWERPLOT.COM, showing current yield data from Answer Plots located all over the US, which you can filter down to your zip code as well.

For more information on new corn hybrids, soybean varieties, and discount programs talk with your local Mercer Landmark Agronomy Sales Representative today. There are some exciting new traits, corn hybrids, and soybean varieties on the market this year, and we cannot wait to tell you about them!

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