University of Wisconsin releases 2020 crop performance trial results

UW Madison Division of Extension
Selecting the correct hybrid/variety can often mean the difference between profit and loss.

One of the most important decisions a farmer makes is the selection of high performing, adapted hybrids and varieties. Selecting the correct hybrid/variety can often mean the difference between profit and loss. Increasingly, during the current bio-engineered era, the choice of hybrid or variety that a farmer selects dictates the management style for that field.

Plant breeders and agronomists test thousands of commercial and new experimental hybrids and varieties for several years at many locations over a range of plant populations, other management practices and environments. These crop performance trials determine which hybrids/varieties  have yielding ability superior to current commercial hybrids/varieties and estimate disease resistance and other important characteristics.

Since 1973, there have been 1120 trials conducted in the UW Corn Performance Trial program. Within a trial, the average difference between the top- and bottom-performing hybrid has averaged 71 bu/A. This difference among hybrids is a significant economic impact on corn profitability.

Since 1973, there have been 1120 trials conducted in the UW Corn Performance Trial program. Within a trial, the average difference between the top- and bottom-performing hybrid has averaged 71 bu/A.

Performance trial results are a good place to start when evaluating hybrids and varieties to grow during 2020. Certainly, an on-farm test in conjunction with seed company trials, and University trials would probably give the best information, if all hybrids/varieties of interest were in the trials.

Since most farmers do not have the resources to conduct on-farm trials at several locations, using unbiased results from other trials to supplement on-farm yield results can increase the chance of picking a hybrid that will do well next year.

Corn

Every year, the University of Wisconsin Extension-Madison and College of Agricultural and Life Sciences conduct a corn evaluation program, in cooperation with the Wisconsin Crop Improvement Association. The purpose of this program is to provide unbiased performance comparisons of hybrid seed corn available in Wisconsin. These trials evaluate corn hybrids for both grain and silage production performance. In 2020, grain and silage performance trials were planted at fourteen locations ... more

Situation: A one bushel per acre increase by Wisconsin corn farmers increases farm income $8 to $32 million dollars

Objective: To provide unbiased performance comparisons of hybrid seed corn available in Wisconsin.

These results are a ''Consumer Report'' for commercial corn hybrids. The trials evaluate grain, silage, and systems including organic, transgenic and refugia systems.

To see complete trials results for corn visit https://bit.ly/2I5ar5C

Wisconsin soybean growers experienced above average growing conditions across much of the state in 2020.

Soybeans

How soybean performance trial entries were tested Seed companies, private breeders and University research and Extension specialists voluntarily submitted any number of entries they wished. Most of these entries are commercially available, but experimental varieties were also tested.

Several additional commercial and public cultivars were included for comparison. Tests were conducted using conventional, reduced tillage or no-till practices. All performance trials were planted at 160,000 seeds/A, at row spacings listed. Tests were conducted using a randomized complete block design with four replicates.

Wisconsin soybean growers experienced above average growing conditions across much of the state in 2020. Below normal precipitation in May coupled with average temperatures expedited soybean planting.

This rapid planting window was followed by normal to above normal precipitation patterns across most of the state through September. Normal to above average environmental growing conditions for most of 2020 led to a projected statewide average soybean yield of 55.0 bu/A, up 8.0 bu/A from 2019.

Production is expected to be at 109 million bushels, which is above the record crop of 2016, according to the NASS report.

Statewide crop conditions were rated at about 82% good to excellent for most of the season. As of October 26th, 85% of the WI soybean crop had been harvested, which is more than 4 weeks ahead of last year and 13 days ahead of average.

For complete information on soybean trials visithttps://bit.ly/39yCvcI

Barley, Oat and Wheat

The Wisconsin Winter Wheat Performance Trialsare conducted each year to give growers information to select the best-performing varieties that will satisfy their specific goals. The performance trials are conducted each year at four locations in Wisconsin: Arlington, Chilton, Fond du Lac and Sharon.

Trials include released varieties, experimental lines from University breeding programs and lines from private seed companies. The primary objective of these trials is to quantify how varieties perform at different locations and across years. Growers can use this data to help select which varieties to plant; breeders can use performance data to determine whether to release a new variety.

Wisconsin oat production in 2020 was estimated at 5.49 million bushels.

Wisconsin saw a 18% decrease in winter wheat acres planted (160,000) in the 2019-2020 growing season compared to the previous year; 120,000 acres are forecasted to be harvested for grain, compared to 150,000 in 2019. The forecasted yield for the 2020 crop is 70 bu/a, up 6 bu/a from 2019.

Some wheat was planted late due to delayed corn and soybean harvest caused by substantial rains and early snow falls. Mild winter conditions resulted in good winter survival. Wheat broke dormancy in early April and crop development was delayed all season due to lower than average GDU accumulation. In general, the crop was relatively short in stature. Overall, winter wheat yield and test weights were average in 2020. Wheat yields at the Arlington, Chilton, Fond du Lac and Sharon locations averaged 92, 102, 97, and 91 bu/a, respectively.

Wisconsin oat production in 2020 was estimated at 5.49 million bushels, the area planted with oat was 300,000 acres, and the area harvested was 131,000 acres, which was an increase of 13% and 9% respectively compared to 2019. During the last three years, the oat planted and harvested area have been increasing on average 18% and 11% respectively. Oat estimated grain yield was 63 bushels per acre, an increase of 17% in comparison to the production obtained in 2019.

Wisconsin barley planted area in 2020 was 26,000 acres and the estimated harvest area was 13,000 acres. The planted area had an increase of 8%, while the harvested area had an increase of 6% in comparison to 2019. Barley estimated yield was 46 bushels per acre in 2020 which was not different from the year 2019.

For complete results for small grains trials visit https://bit.ly/2I3bBP0