Requires Genetic Diversity
In a world full of chaos and uncertainty growers are craving consistent performance. Not only do they want consistent performance from field to field, but they also want consistency from year to year. With infinite variables delivered by mother nature, this can be a real challenge. Dustin Bowling, AgriGold’s Western Agronomy Manager, feels that AgriGold has uncovered the real keys to producing consistent yields and meeting expectations in the field.
Genetic research and hybrid development are at the core of AgriGold’s success. As a division of AgReliant Genetics, AgriGold has access to unique genetics and a global research and testing network. AgReliant Genetics’ corn breeders develop their best inbreds to handle nearly any condition faced in the field.
“Our global resources paired with extensive local testing has really helped us develop a more in depth understanding of these hybrids. Each hybrid that’s introduced by the AgriGold product team passes through our Pre-Commercial Research (PCR) program, which includes 480 trials spanning more than 200 locations across the US,” said Bowling.
According to Bowling, the PCR program along with multi-year evaluations from the AgriGold agronomy team have led to a deeper understanding of corn genetics that AgriGold calls Field GX. Every AgriGold hybrid is classified into genetic families based on its genetic background and agronomic characteristics.
Make a plan now, not after harvest!
One of the biggest mistakes that Bowling sees growers make is waiting until after harvest to develop their seed plan for the next year.
“Yield should be one factor that plays into your seed plan, but not the only factor! Think about all the circumstances that led to our 2019 yield results. Have the exact same conditions shown up in the 2020 season? No, so why would a grower base the largest part of their seed decision on harvest data from environmental conditions that have a very poor chance of repeating?” Bowling explained.
Below is a chart showing A6499VT2RIB’s performance on one of AgriGold’s long-time plot cooperators in central Missouri. The cooperator and the farming practices all remained the same over this seven-year period, with any major changes being environmental. A6499 is one of AgriGold’s best selling hybrids year to year. Bowling stressed the importance of selecting a mix of hybrids for growers’ seed plans based on several factors in addition to plot results.
After analyzing over 6500 plots in the AgriGold yield data base going back to 2011, AgReliant Genetics’ statistician team learned that a hybrid only has an 11.2 percent chance of being a plot winner twice in a row.
“No one knows the ‘Good, Bad, and Ugly’ sides of their farms better than the farmer. Every field has an issue or two that annually provide challenges. Understanding those key limiting factors and selecting hybrid characteristics based on those challenges is key,” said Bowling.
At the end of day, combining genetic diversity, hybrid characteristics, and grower knowledge will lead to more consistent results. Bowling’s final piece of advice is to start building the 2021 seed plan now and use yield results from this fall to refine choices instead of defining next year’s results.