Variety Plans January 11, 2018 Variety selection time is upon us. This year just like any other brings some mighty interesting finds as we dig through the data to find which ones were the winners from 2017 as a procedure for guessing the 2018 winners. There is a glaring fact staring us in the face for 2018. The ‘Old Guard’ is quickly being replaced by varieties with new technology and good agronomic characteristics. In fact, from the top 5 varieties from just 2 years ago (2016 Variety Report Card), only PHY 333 has plenty of seed left to meet the demand. 333, 312, 4946, 499, and probably 495 all finished among the top in 2017 but unfortunately have been or will be phased out. However, if you can find a supply of seed with good germ, then I would expect favorable results going forward. Only 333 and 4946 should have good seed supply from the old guard. For many, 333 is kind of like going to a party, and even if you see a pretty girl across the room, you are going to dance with your wife. As long as you do not have to spray any Liberty on it and spray with the best insect program, then it is one of the two best varieties. In the 2018 Variety Report card, there are 24 above average varieties if you just look at the results from 2017. 13 of the 24 were not even tested the previous year so there are only 6 varieties with two years of above average yields and 5 with three years across Northeastern North Carolina and Virginia. Three of these varieties are Widestrike 2 with more limited weed control options. I think the best news is that many of the new varieties will stand strong going forward. Most of us like to see more than one year of data before making a big commitment to acreage. For this year, and particularly if you are going 100 % Enlist, or 100% Xtend, you are going to have to mix it up with some one year varieties that look like they have potential to be among the best. The 2018 Variety report card is almost complete and you should have it in a week or so.
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Did You Know?
In 1943 the USDA developed a method for cleaning Navy airplane engines by blasting them with ground corn cobs