Using Research to Maximize Your Yields

It’s not just that we test more than any other independent seed company in our region. It’s that we test over and over. It’s called replicated testing, and it’s a much more accurate and meaningful way to test seed. The results of this research produces the most accurate data to select the best seed.

Thanks to our research, we have built a solid reputation as the premier corn and soybean testing organization in the upper Midwest.

Why is replicated research important for corn and soybeans?

Local Genetics
Testing products in the same conditions and the same soil as our customers’ fields is the best way to select products for our line-up.

Replication + Locations
Testing, when done right, is all about replications—repeating the testing process several times. In our case, in multiple locations. Replicated testing minimizes the environmental differences between plots and allows true genetic differences to be identified.

Replicated Testing Focus
Our replicated testing program boasts over 33,000 soybean variety trials and 14,000 corn hybrid plots. We are also testing all the existing soybean herbicide traits available today: Conventional, RR2Y, RR2X, Enlist E3, XtendFlex, LibertyLink and LibertyLink GT27 in over 34 locations across North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota.

Agronomic Testing

Even though we run the largest independent testing program in the Upper Midwest, we don’t stop there. It’s one thing to have great seed, but having great seed and smart agronomic best practices is where we really see yield results.

We’ve been running ongoing tests since 2004 to determine guidelines for how farmers can best impact yields through planting practices. We affectionately call these tests “The Ole & Sven Trial”.

The study tracks 4 key questions:

Our research shows a benefit to early planting in both corn and soybeans (the last week of April-May 8th). Soil temps and the weather can impact your ability to get in the field during this window, but starting plants off early gives them a chance to enter the reproductive stages sooner and have a longer grain fill period.

We’ve tested standard and high-speed planters in our research. With standard seed disks, the ideal speed is under 5mph. That’s because seed tubes are engineered for this speed so planting any faster will lead to seed skipping down the trench and an increase in doubles/skips. High-speed planters however, work well at speeds over 5mph, but only with active down pressure control, preferably hydraulic.

Our data indicates the ideal population on our farm to be 32,000 for corn and around 155,000 for soybeans. But this is really something that will vary by field or even by zones within a field depending on productivity. To determine the ideal population for your field, use population test strips across different zones. This will allow you to see how yield is affected by adding or reducing population.

1.5-2” is the ideal planting depth for corn. This allows for even emergence and correct crown root development. The ideal planting depth for soybeans is a little more forgiving,  but 1-1.5” has resulted in the greatest yield in our research.

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