Planting a new hybrid that you’ve never dealt with on your farm before can be a tricky situation, as it sometimes can feel like you are rolling the dice.
Farming isn’t just a game, it’s a livelihood that we need to be able to make profit off of. However, selecting a new hybrid could end up lending you that extra amount of quality and yield you are looking for.
Doug Alderman of PRIDE Seeds says the first step to evaluating whether or not to bring a new hybrid onto your operation is being comfortable with the data that is out there. An immense amount of research is done on each hybrid before it is released, but ensuring the hybrid trial’s field conditions align with your farm’s, and that your specific concerns are met, is crucial.
Once you’ve evaluated the data, you need to take a look at your own books, as what works for your neighbours or friends may not necessarily work for you.
“Myself, I’d probably do a new hybrid at 20 to 25 per cent of my hybrid that I’m going to mix in that maturity. So if I’ve got a 2900 heat unit in corn, or a 95 day hybrid, I’m going to put x number of units in of the hybrid that I like,” explains Alderman. “So maybe I’ll go 80 per cent of that one, and 20 per cent of the new hybrid, to really have a good look at it.”
Soil mapping can also play into your considerations as well, as knowing what types of hybrids excel on what types of soils and populations can make a new hybrid less of a gamble.
“To be able to have the data to support the hybrids and make sure the varieties are supported that we know, and understanding how they perform best, is key. If we have some soil mapping and some data that backs that up, then that’s all the better,” he says.