Choosing corn hybrids is one of the most crucial crop management decisions to be made. There are a range of factors to consider, most notably the weather, which makes it difficult as this decision is typically made months in advance of the growing season.
Choosing a hybrid selection is predicated on the objective of how well it will do next year, not how well it did in past performances. This is why crop producers should look at multiple yield trials and choose ones that closely align with their field conditions. Don’t forget to consider how hybrid characteristics can influence other aspects of a cropping system when making a selection.
For an in-depth explanation of how to select a corn hybrid, check out the ICM encyclopedia entry for Corn Hybrid Selection.
The same consideration that is given to corn hybrid selection should be provided to soybean varieties, keeping in mind that some characteristics of soybean varieties can impact in-season management, and in some cases might need to match up with equipment and cropping systems management that is being used.
When choosing a soybean variety, crop producers should focus on yield—and yield consistency—as well as disease tolerance and maturity selection. Balance the seed cost with yield potential, and make sure to choose multiple varieties from different companies to spread genetic risk. Remember to use multi-year and multi-location yield trial information that matches your specific environment.
For a more in-depth explanation on how to best select a soybean variety, read the ICM encyclopedia entry Soybean Variety Selection.