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Selecting seed is no simple decision

Though it may seem too early to start thinking about seed decisions when this year’s crops are still growing, there are advantages to getting a headstart. Making plans now can give you time to do your homework and help ensure you get the products you want down the road.
CameronCameron Horine - Director of Seed This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What brand, hybrid and variety of corn and soybeans to plant is one of the biggest decisions that must be made every year. Unfortunately, it’s not always as easy as just saying, “I want to go with Brand X and Hybrid Y for all of my corn acres” and then moving on from that choice. Emotion, past experiences, logic and goals all play a part in making that selection. Those factors are complicated by the fact that technologies and traits seem to change every year, and new hybrids and varieties are always entering the market. Growers have ever-evolving options from which to choose.

How do you sift through all those layers and rationalize seed decisions? Here are some things growers should be weighing when considering their needs:

• Yield potential: This is the first thing that comes to my mind when choosing seed, and, generally speaking, this is the most important factor for all growers. You should assess the performance of a hybrid or variety across multiple locations and years. However, you can’t just look at bushels per acre. It’s crucial to understand that seed products vary in their yield potential based on specific soil types, climate conditions and management.

• Maturity and harvestability: Is planting and harvest timing important to you? Do you need to begin harvest early and be done by football season or before the weather turns? Are you aiming to have corn pollination complete before the high heat and “normal” slump of rain in mid-summer? Do you want strong corn stalks that will stand late so you can harvest soybeans first? How do you want to space out your portfolio? Answers to all of those questions should factor into your decision.

• Herbicide and trait technology: What herbicide technologies are you planning to use? Do you want to be on the Enlist platform or the Xtend platform? Do you need glufosinate-tolerant corn? There are also drought tolerance and nitrogen efficiency among other traits now coming to the market.

• Disease and pest resistance: A key factor in successful crop production is having varieties with the ability to resist or tolerate various diseases and pests that can reduce yield and seed quality. Do you need a hybrid or variety that has resistance or tolerance to major threats in your region, including corn rootworm, corn earworm, tar spot, soybean cyst nematode, frogeye leaf spot or other fungal and bacterial diseases? Again, you must take these characteristics seriously when making seed selections.

• Brand loyalty and reputation: Are you more willing to only purchase a national brand? Do you prefer a local/regional brand that is more adapted?

I know this isn’t an exhaustive list of considerations that go into selecting the seed products that work best on your farm. Fortunately, MFA can help make these decisions easier and support your seed needs. With our own MorCorn and MorSoy lineups, we have locally adapted corn hybrids and soybean varieties that are tested and selected to fit our trade territory while delivering premier genetics. We also provide national seed brands, including Dekalb, Asgrow, NK and Brevant, for your corn and soybean needs as well. Our key account managers and retail location managers will help design the best seed portfolio for your needs to make your growing season successful.

Along with building a customized seed portfolio, we can provide other inputs, such as plant food and crop protection, to ensure that the seed you plant is given the best opportunity to reach its yield potential.

If you have any questions about your seed needs for the 2025 growing season, please contact your local MFA.

Read more of the June/July 2024 Today's Farmer Magazine HERE.

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