The Agronomists, Ep 41: Nate Ort, Todd Hyra, and Peter Johnson on variety and hybrid selection


Let’s face it, variety selection can be a pretty daunting task. What specific traits do you focus on? How many should you grow? Do we focus purely on yield?

We’ve got a full lineup to help us navigate through the ins and outs of choosing a variety for 2022: Nate Ort of the Canola Council of Canada, Todd Hyra of Secan, and Peter Johnson of RealAgriculture.

Catch a new episode of The Agronomists every Monday night at 8 pm E!


  • It’s easy to just go in that line and look at what variety yielded the most, but it’s not that simple, and it hasn’t been in awhile.
  • Consider your speed of harvest, the disease package
  • There’s such a balance when looking at which varieties are the best
  • Sometimes we are chasing last year’s problems, and forget about previous years
  • As much as we say yield matters, so do the other players in the game
  • There’s a lot of high yielding hybrids out there, there’s going to likely be more than one that fits
  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket — try out different options!
  • You want to pay attention to the length of your specific growing season as well when you are deciding a hybrid
  • The Canola Council of Canada recommends growing more than one hybrid. There’s no magic number, but try out a couple of different genetics and see how they work on your operation
  • From a cereal perspective, many producers are growing one to two varieties, but you should also consider more than that. No two years are going to be the same, and if you’re budgeting on 2021 happening again…
  • We often talk about growing a certain percentage of these extra long hybrids…but again, do not put all your eggs in one basket.

CLIP 1: Corn School: Making profitable hybrid selections 

  • Genetics by environment can be a tough game to play, but when the weather works out, can be very beneficial
  • Some varieties are best in certain pockets, but then some come around that are meant for certain areas, and end up making it in a large area
  • You have to know what was done in the trials you are looking at, and how that relates to your farm
  • Make sure you look at row spacing when you look at variety selection
  • Let’s also remember: integrated pest management. Of course varieties are important, but let’s come at these challenges from multiple angles as well.

CLIP 2: (which also happens to be one of the first videos Shaun shot) Crop Week – Selecting a Seed Variety

  • Write down your varieties, and work through that list!

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Other Episodes

The Agronomists (view all)Season 2 (2021) Episode 11

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