Corn Discovery Plots Prove Valuable for Seed Decisions

Nov 21, 2022

2022 Discovery Plots showcase seed options for 2023
This year’s Discovery Plots had “unique stresses and challenges,” said Kevin Carlson, Federated’s agronomy sales manager. “It was a tougher year overall … the weather mostly.”
The best news from the Discovery Plots this year was the alignment of their yield data with the Answer Plot® data (by Winfield® United). “We saw products float to the top in both Federated’s Discovery Plots and in the Answer Plots, which are more regional (and beyond),” said Carlson. “We saw some common denominators [between the two sets of plots] … and we got some rock-solid agronomic information and performance data on those product,” he said.
Because hybrid variety and selection is such a “critical step” for the coming year, it’s important to look at both new and old products. If a product did well this year, last year, and the year before, those are the ones to choose (provided they fit your geography and crop management style).
“You have to be continually looking at new products and how they work on your farm,” said Carlson. Test them against your favorites next year, and in all likelihood, you will see the new hybrid outperform your old favorite.
The technology behind crop breeding is stronger than ever. There is a two- to four-year life span for most hybrids today because breeding technology – such as chip technology and predictions through DNA – can determine hybrid performance faster than ever before. “The new technology speeds up the process,” said Carlson. Which means “you can’t fall in love with a seed product and stay there.” It won’t be available for the long run.
And seed is a competitive business, which makes breeders chase each other’s successes, always looking for the next “yield bump.”
“Know what’s working on your farm,” said Carlson. Then try the new products side by side. See how they compare in your fields. “Federated can’t put all the new products in the Discovery Plots,” he said, but Federated’s intent is to introduce a representative set of seed products.
The corn Discovery Plot data are posted here, and the Answer Plot data are here. Comparing the yield data, Carlson found these products in the Top 10 for 2022 in Federated’s Discovery Plots. (See video also.)
  1. NK 9231 (92-day). New product this year. Winner in both Discovery Plots and Answer Plots. “This short-season hybrid even placed 9th in Albertville against a 100-day product,said Carlson, reinforcing its top performance.
  2. Croplan 3980 (99-day). Second year in plots; back-to-back high performance. Very full season for some of Federated’s geography. Will probably replace historic product, 3899.
  3. Dekalb 44-98 and 44-97 (94 day). Two different trait stacks. “Phenomenal performance” for light to heavy soils.
  4. Dekalb 43-75 (93 day). Second year in top 10 with excellent performance; new in 2021.
  5. Croplan 3490 (94 day). New last year; second year in top 10. A “very solid product.”
  6. Renk 485 – (94 day) Newer product. Very consistent.
  7. Croplan 3166 (91 day). Stood out in both Discovery Plots and Answer Plots with exceptional emergence, which helped with yield in the end. A “plant me first” hybrid for marginal planting conditions.
  8. Croplan 3735 (97 day). Performed consistently. Not in the top 10 across all plots, but did well everywhere. Full maturity for this zone.
  9. NK 9175 (91 day). “Not a racehorse first-place-kind-of-product, but very consistent.” A couple of years old.
  10. Legend 3795 (95 day). New, full-season product that works for most of Federated’s geography.
Talk to your local Federated Agronomist to discuss your 2023 options.

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