MSPB supports the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station Variety Trials Program to provide a rich source of data for the MSPB online Variety Selector tool. Brad Burgess, MAFES Variety Trials director, runs the trial every year so farmers can have the latest results to make seed decisions year after year.
“The most important goal of these trials is that farmers have an opportunity to see how a variety will perform before they make a decision,” Burgess said.
Each of the 11 locations participating in the MAFES Soybean Variety Trials represents different soil types, environments and cultural practices in Mississippi which could impact the growth and performance of soybean varieties.
The main objective of the variety trials is to show farmers the performance of a copious amount of varieties within one growing season. MAFES works alongside different seed brands and soybean breeders to feature their seed in the annual trial.
Every year, the trials are evaluated on yield, outstanding characteristics and overall performance. Preliminary yield data is shared as soon as it is collected, then analyzed and compiled into a cohesive report. Final reports contain outstanding characteristics, overall performance and any other observations.
With the extremely dry conditions Mississippi is experiencing, Burgess looks forward to seeing how irrigation impacts seed quality. MPSB recommended seed quality data to be collected and included in the variety trial results in addition to other sponsored research projects. This year will be the first year that seed quality is included in variety trial results, and data will be collected and analyzed for all maturity groups.
Burgess welcomes tours to make stops at the trials throughout the growing season. Representatives from seed companies and breeders use the trials as an opportunity to see how their varieties stack up to competitors. Farmers in attendance of other field tours and courses are welcome to observe the variety trials for themselves as well.
Top five takeaways:
- Seed companies and breeders enter varieties to be included in the trial.
- Preliminary yield data is normally shared two weeks after the last trial is harvested.
- Outstanding characteristics receive scaled scores in final analyses and reports.
- Tours and visits are always welcome but not scheduled through MAFES.
- Complete variety trial results will be incorporated into the MSPB Variety Selector tool.
MAFES shares any and all useful results with MSPB to incorporate in the online Variety Selector and other platforms. For more information about soybean variety performance, review MSPB’s Variety Selector.