Insight •  2023-11-01

How trial data can help make the right seed decision

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When it comes to comparing trial data to determine the value of a hybrid or variety, the key is to evaluate information that offers repetition and varying environments.

One of the handiest tools for making seed decisions, trial data should be carefully reviewed to make sure farmers are making the most informed decision possible. Because there’s no such thing as a ‘uniform field’ and no two growing seasons are alike, the two key factors for evaluating trial data should be number of plots or years of performance data and a variety of geographies or environments.

Use performance data covering a number of years

Since growing conditions can vary so much from year to year, farmers should use a minimum of two to three years of data to make a thorough evaluation. Keep in mind that hybrids and seed varieties react differently to weather and soils, making it important to select the best option that performs consistently across multiple environments and growing years.

Evaluate results across multiple environments

Farmers only have to compare last year’s hot and dry growing conditions with this year’s cold and wet season to know that each year is different. Just like variable weather, trial data collected from multiple geographic locations and environments is essential for evaluating and selecting the right seed for your farm. Look at average performances across at least 20-30 locations, including local plots and others across the province or Eastern Canada. Use information beyond ‘your little corner of the world’ to get the full picture of seed performance.

Looking for local yield data results? Pioneer Seeds conducts regional trials for farmers to compare yield data. Visit Pioneer’s Yield Data webpage to find local results for comparison. Interested in conducting a product performance trial on your own farm? Contact a Pioneer Team member for more information.

Properly assessed trial data can be used to improve the predictability and performance of your seed decisions. Without thoroughly evaluating the information, the odds of selecting the right hybrid or seed variety based on trial data can be equal to simply flipping a coin. Performance data from multiple locations and environments combined with a period of years is the most accurate predictor of how seeds will perform in the future on your farm. Questions about how to evaluate trial data or how to manage agronomy challenges in your field? Consult your trusted agronomist, retailer, local Corteva Agriscience™ Territory Manager or Pioneer Team  for advice.