It is that time of year to place orders for corn seed. Two questions you should ask yourself are: 1) How many hours do I spend selecting corn hybrids? 2) Who and what influence my decision? Regardless of how you answered these questions, selecting hybrids each year is one of the most important routine decisions producers make that drives profitability.
When selecting a variety, you should consider:
Your seed dealer or crop advisor should be able to help you gather most of this information including yield data from third-party hybrid performance trials to help identify top performing hybrids that match your soils, climate, pest problems, and management. If you are concerned that you will miss out on the earliest pay discounts by waiting for third-party trials results to be released, seed companies often will let you pay for a seed order without specifying the hybrid until later. Please check with your seed company on this policy.
The Farms.com Yield Data Centre has a large number of seed company test plot results and information to help with the seed purchase decisions. http://www.yielddata.farms.com
Selecting a group of proven top-performing hybrids to plant on your farm will also help you minimize the chance that a particular environmental factor, disease, or insect may preferentially impact all of them. Your time and effort in making an informed decision on selecting hybrids will make good on its return.