By LAURIE KIEFABER
MONROE, Ind. — Drought reduced yields so much in Dave Bluhm’s corn test plot last fall, that full-season test data were thrown out. Bluhm’s farm was just one host for Farmer’s Independent Research of Seed Technologies (F.I.R.S.T.) this season.
“They missed a lot of rain and consistency of hybrids within the test because of dry weather,” said F.I.R.S.T. Site Manager Rich Schleuning. The full-season test “data was rejected because of poor quality and the drought.”
The early-season test data (see chart at right) looked promising but then faded, Schleuning said: “The crop got off to a good start; then, the drought of 2012 took hold. Plant height ranged from 4 feet to 5 feet, 10 inches tall.
“The crop stood well at harvest for a late harvest date and stress of this year. Ear size varied from barren stalk to ears with 12 to 16 kernels around and 14 to 30 kernels long.
“Fusarium and aspergillus ear rots were present. The (full-season) data was rejected for variable yields.”
The top 10 yielding varieties had a range of 137.8 down to 111.7 bushels per acre in the early-season test. Ebberts had three of the top 10 yielders.
AgriGold A6408VT3Pro appeared the front-runner of 36 tested varieties, and the brand had three entries placing in the top 30. In the early-season test, the yield was 137.8 bushels per acre, with a moisture content of 17.7 percent. Schleuning estimated this variety had a gross income of $1,038 per acre.
Second place went to Great Lakes 5785VT3PRO with a potential yield of 132.6 bushels per acre. Its estimated gross income was $998 per acre, with a moisture level of 18.1 percent.
Ebberts 9307SS CK was the check brand in both tests (a known factor against which new varieties were measured), but the brand also had a new variety with a yield of $132.5 bushels per acre as the third top yielder. Moisture content was 18.2 percent, and the variety had an estimated gross income of $996 per acre.
Garst variety 85V88-3000GT placed fourth in the early-season test, with a yield of 131.4 bushels per acre, 19.1 percent moisture and $985 gross income.
The average test plot yield in the early-season test for all varieties was 107 bushels per acre. Average moisture was 18.7 percent and the gross income was $803 per acre.
Schleuning planted at a rate of 35,000 seeds per acre April 18 and harvested 32,300 plants per acre Oct. 22. The corn followed corn with Degree and Roundup previously applied. Bicep II Magnum, Roundup and Force were applied on this test plot.
For a complete list of all brands and a searchable database of information, visit www.firstseedtests.com