Meaningful Product Comparisons

Gathering good yield information during harvest is important. Making accurate product comparisons with your own yields will help ensure that you can glean the most profitable results next year.

Remember that while product performance measured in bushels-per-acre, adjusted for moisture, is the primary consideration when evaluating hybrids, other characteristics can often play a large role in whether or not a product fits your farming operation. Consider this scenario: a top yielding variety in an unusually dry year catches your attention and you decide to plant it on 75 percent of your acres next year. But next year your micro-climate returns to near normal rainfall and diseases that had been common before return. The product that did so well when it was dry underperforms because it was selected in an environment that was not typical for your area.

Here are three important suggestions that can help you make meaningful product comparisons:

  1. Gather results from several sites within your area of operation, rather than a single test from your own farm. Decades of university and independent on-farm studies have shown that a broader collection of harvest data will help you determine accurately what the “best” yielding varieties were.
  2. Compare varieties of similar maturity and technology traits. In other words, compare Bt hybrids with Bt hybrids and group II soybeans with group II soybeans. Most producers would like to know each year whether Bt technology paid for itself or if a fuller maturity hybrid was best. Those are excellent questions and you should make those comparisons for your farm. But when evaluating plot results, you’ll get accurate information by comparing varieties with similar maturities and technologies. And that should give you results that you can translate into good decisions for next year.
  3. Contact your district sales manager (DSM) if you measure your yield in side-byside plots or evaluation plots with a weigh wagon or yield monitor. Your DSM can assist you and will submit your data so it can be entered in our product comparison database. Your harvest results will become part of a meaningful, multi-location comparison of many hybrids that will be available this fall and winter for you and other customers.