The Agronomists, Ep 92: Ian Epp and Marty Vermey on picking winning hybrids


Chasing yield goals usually starts with a favourite or promising new hybrid or variety, but navigating the sea of options for corn and canola can especially be overwhelming.

To help navigate the decision-making process on variety or hybrid selection, host Lyndsey Smith is joined by Ian Epp with the Canola Council of Canada, and Marty Vermey with Grain Famers of Ontario.

This episode of The Agronomists is brought to you by ADAMA Canada, Decisive Farming by Telus Agriculture, CanolaMasters, and Disruptors, an RBC podcast.

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


  • What do agronomists do all winter? Research analysis and extension!
  • Is there an ideal turnover for new hybrids on a farm? Try something new
  • There’s plenty to be gained by genetic improvement
  • …but there’s something to be said for knowing what lines work well on your farm
  • How often should you try something new?
  • What’s the average lifespan of a hybrid? About three years ish
  • Balance of yield goals, maturity, disease package
  • A whole lot more goes in to reaching top yields, too. For canola, harvest options and shatter resistance have increased in importance
  • Older canola varieties/hybrids can get romanticized, many wouldn’t stand up to the disease pressure of today
  • Disease tolerance/resistance or disease pressure and risk could factor in quite large in 2023
  • Where do you go for information? Seed guides, third-party data, plot trials, neighbours
  • Understand where the data comes from and how it is determined
  • Farmers typically select on yield first, but the other traits and characteristics matter too
  • Can we fully manage the genetic potential? Great question
  • For canola, managing population first is the key to ever getting close to the full potential
  • Clip 1: Flex vs fixed hybrids¬†
  • How to manage flex vs fixed corn hybrids. Yes, it matters
  • What does it look like?
  • Not all options have easy solutions (i.e. verticillium, and to a lesser extent, tar spot)

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