February 14, 2020
Five Questions to Ask Your Seed Supplier
You wouldn’t buy a car without asking the salesman about it, so why should buying seed be any different? Each season brings new lessons to be learned, but you don’t always have to find out the hard way. We created a list of the five questions you should ask your seed supplier when it comes to choosing the right variety for your operation.
1. What seed will perform best on my operation?
Wheat is grown in 42 states, each with their own climate, soil types, diseases and insects. Wheat is not a one-type-fits-all crop. Varieties are region-specific and are locally tested to make sure they deliver the best yield potential for that area. Just because a variety performed well in the next state over or even on your friend’s farm doesn’t mean it will on yours. Speak to your dealer about the history of your operation and how previous varieties have performed to get the best results.
2. What traits does this variety offer?
Disease, drought tolerance and nutrient efficiency all impact yield and quality of your crop, so it’s vital to know what your variety is protected against. Finding a disease resistance package suited for your area is a necessity, and built-in resistance can help manage diseases and other risks in your area.
3. How many various types of varieties should I plant?
When it comes to choosing a variety, Northern Region Technical Product Manager Grant Mehring has some advice to offer:
1. Select two, three or more different varieties.
2. Choose varieties that are average to above average in several key categories.
3. Consult a trusted agronomic adviser (or ask other farmers in your area) for local, firsthand insights into a variety’s performance.
4. What's new?
Planting older genetics can cost you bushels in the long run. Genetic advances are continuously occurring with the development of wheat breeding programs. It’s important to know what the new genetics are as they can increase yield potential and other agronomic traits.
5. Should I use the same seeding rate as last year?
As each year passes, you learn more and more about the variety you grow. And you apply those lessons to adjust your seeding rate up or down based on lodging, tillering and yields you’ve seen. A mistake you don’t want to make is planting a single seeding rate across many different varieties. Vary your seeding rates to fine-tune each variety for where it should be. Planting wheat seed based on pounds per acre can lead to poor outcomes, and inaccuracy in either direction can impact your yield and profit potential. For example, if you underseed, you can waste valuable acres and increase the risk of weeds in your fields. On the contrary, if you overseed, you waste unnecessary seed and increase the risk of yield-robbing diseases and valuable nutrients.