Navigating Seed Selection: 5 Crucial Questions Every Grower Should Ask

The significance of seed decisions for the upcoming planting season cannot be overstated. Your choice of seed can significantly impact the success of your crop, making it essential to approach this decision with careful consideration. To help you make informed choices, here are five questions you should ponder before sealing the deal.

Yield Mastery: Does the Hybrid Deliver Elite Genetics for Overall Yield?

Seed genetics, often considered the blueprint for a successful crop, play a crucial role in determining the characteristics and performance of plants. Imagine each seed as a tiny package of potential, carrying information that influences how the plant will grow, resist diseases, and ultimately yield crops. Seed genetics refer to the specific traits encoded in a seed's DNA. This DNA carries the instructions that dictate everything from the plant's appearance to its ability to resist pests, diseases, and environmental stress. Choosing the right seed genetics is like selecting the right tools for a job. It sets the foundation for a successful farming venture. Here's why it matters:

Yield Potential: Different seeds have different inherent capacities to produce crops. Selecting seeds with high yield potential ensures a more abundant harvest.

Adaptability: Seeds are not one-size-fits-all. The genetics of a seed determine how well it adapts to your specific local conditions—be it soil type, climate, or other environmental factors.
Disease Resistance: Some seeds are genetically equipped to resist certain diseases, reducing the need for pesticides and promoting a healthier crop.
Environmental Resilience: Seeds with strong genetics can better withstand adverse conditions like drought or extreme temperatures, ensuring a more resilient and reliable crop.

Pest Resistance: Is the Hybrid Tailored to Your Farm's Pests?

Fine-tune your selection by considering specific pests on your farm. When selecting a hybrid, it's essential to fine-tune your choice by considering the specific pests that pose threats to your fields. If the notorious Corn Rootworm takes center stage in your pest-related concerns, opting for the SmartStax trait becomes a prudent shield against this formidable adversary.

Take a moment to reflect on past seasons — were diseases like Goss's Wilt prominent limitations to your crop's potential? If so, strategically prioritizing hybrids equipped with resistance to these specific diseases becomes paramount. This tailored approach transforms your seed selection into a proactive defense strategy, enhancing your crop's resilience.

In the context of continuous corn environments, where pest pressures can compound, consider employing the Response to Continuous Corn (RTCC) scores. These scores serve as invaluable guides, shedding light on potential challenges specific hybrids might encounter in continuous corn settings. In essence, your seed choice becomes a calculated response to the unique pest dynamics of your farm, ensuring a robust defense against the unpredictable challenges that each growing season may bring.

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Soil Compatibility: Is the Hybrid Suited to Your Soil?

Understanding your soil type is pivotal. Water availability, influenced by soil characteristics, plays a crucial role in yield variation. Classify your soil into coarse, medium, or fine and select hybrids with root structures optimized for each type. Response to Population (RTP) scores aids in determining the best planting population for optimal yield and return on investment.

Data-Driven Decision-Making: Does the Seed Company Provide In-Season Management Data?

Distinguish between good and great seed companies by assessing their data management capabilities. In a challenging economic environment, aligning with a cooperative like Ag Plus unlocks tools from Croplan, DeKalb, Brevant and our other partners for in-season decisions. Response to Nitrogen (RTN) and Response to Fungicide (RTF) scores offer insights for nitrogen application and fungicide use, enabling data-driven decisions throughout the production season.

*Image pulled from Croplan

Trusted Advisor: Am I Buying from a Reputable Source?

In times of economic strain, spending more on seeds requires trust. Purchasing from a trusted advisor provides access to invaluable experience and company data. This relationship can significantly impact profitability and yield by aiding in optimal hybrid placement, population decisions, and the utilization of inputs like nitrogen and fungicides.

Making the right call on hybrid selection involves more than just the cost of the seed; it's an investment in the success of your crop. By addressing these five questions, you can navigate the complex terrain of seed selection, ensuring that your choices contribute to a bountiful harvest and a profitable season. As we approach the end of the year, let your conversations be about the success and yield of your crop, not just the cost of your seed.

Contact us today to learn more or schedule a free agronomist consultation. Together, let's sow success in your field.

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1100 East Main Street
Marshall, MN 56258

(507) 532-9686

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