Choosing the right seed for a field is the first critical step toward an abundant harvest. However, seed selection today is much more complex and includes many more factors than it did a decade ago. With hundreds of dollars wrapped up in a crop before and after it is planted, growers want to get the most return on their investment. A local seed expert can help them do just that.
"Seed selection can make the difference between a crop success and a crop failure," said Chris Beach, Syngenta seed advisor in Leonard, Mo. "But a grower's buying decision is much more complex than a simple this-or-that pick."
Factors to consider
Performance and yield are critical factors to consider, Beach said. The hybrid has to perform in the environment for which it is designed. Stress tolerance—whether due to drought, wet soil or pollination—is an important issue and so are good roots, excellent standability and disease ratings. Traits are also an integral part of the selection process and should be chosen based on each field's pest pressure, crop rotation and the grower's need to minimize the field's stress load.
According to Terry Aukes, seed manager for Farmers Elevator Company in Doon, Iowa, growers' expectations of products are very high and so are the stakes. "Poor seed performance is not tolerated in high-input agriculture," he said. "As a result, the turnaround of products is swifter, and the number of choices is greater today than ever before."