A great deal of time and money are spent by researchers and seed companies to develop new soybean varieties and corn hybrids.
LSU AgCenter researchers plant and study these new seeds across the state to see exactly how these new developments work for Louisiana producers.
Dan Fromme, LSU AgCenter corn specialist, conducts hybrid trials throughout the state to compare yields.
Annually, companies release new hybrids, and Fromme wants to see how well they perform in different environments on farms with different soil types, planting dates and climates.
“We try to find the top yielding varieties,” he said.
Results are featured in LSU AgCenter publications, and they are posted on the AgCenter website at lsuagcenter.com/topics/crops/corn.
Extension agents in different parishes assist with the trials, and at harvest a weigh wagon is used to determine yield results. Fromme said corn planting in March and the first few days of April went well this year.
“Due to heavy and prolonged periods of rain, corn that was planted after the first week of April experienced yield reductions from the flooded field conditions,” Fromme said.
Boyd Padgett, LSU AgCenter soybean specialist, is conducting core variety trials at seven locations, all LSU AgCenter research stations. Agronomic characteristics are evaluated, as well as yield results.
Planting started in April and ended in May with no major problems, he said.
Starting this year, he also is testing varieties at the Dean Lee Research Station in Alexandria and the Ben Hur Research Station in Baton Rouge without fungicides to determine which varieties offer the best disease resistance.
Padgett is continuing a seeding rate study to determine the minimum number of plants per acre needed for the best results. The range starts at 50,000 and goes to 175,000. He said the larger number is probably only needed on later-planted fields.
“Under normal conditions, we’re finding we don’t need to use high seeding rates,” Padgett said.
He also is studying the rates and timing of harvest aids at the Northeast Research Station in St. Joseph and at the Dean Lee station.
Corn core block demonstrations: West Carroll (2), Pointe Coupee, Madison, Caldwell, St. Landry, Catahoula, West Baton Rouge, Franklin, Richland, Avoyelles, Rapides, Beauregard, Morehouse
Soybean core block locations: Iberia, St. James, Martin, Richland, Franklin, Ouachita, Concordia, Pointe Coupee, West Carroll, Madison (2), East Carroll, West Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge (5), Rapides, Avoyelles (2), Beauregard, St. Landry
Wheat core block demonstrations: Pointe Coupe
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture