Researchers with Ohio State University's Department of Horticulture and Crop Science and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) have released results of the 2011 Corn Performance Test (http://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/corntrials/) and 2011 Soybean Performance Trials (http://oardc.osu.edu/soy2011/).
Several members of the university faculty and staff participate in the performance trials annually, and the researchers noted that growing conditions varied widely across the state this year.
"This year's weather was difficult from a management standpoint, but was great for variety testing," said Chris Kroon Van Diest, a research associate with OARDC and one of the authors of the soybean performance trial results. "Stress brought about by the variable weather conditions, really kicked up varietal differences, when there were differences."
Relative to the soybean performance trails, varieties were grouped, tested and analyzed by type and maturity with all normal and Liberty Link varieties tested as a group, and Roundup Ready varieties tested in two groups based on maturity. The same production, testing and evaluation techniques, except for weed control, were used for both normal tests and Roundup Ready tests.
The entries for each test site were planted in a randomized complete-block design. Each entry was replicated four times and planted in plots 40-foot long and 5-foot wide containing four rows seeded at 140,000 seeds per acre. Trials were conducted in the North, Central and Southern regions, and are reported accordingly.
In the 2011 corn test, 251 hybrids representing 32 commercial brands were evaluated. Four tests were established in the Southwestern/West Central/Central regions and three tests were established in the Northwestern and North Central/Northeastern regions for a total of 10 test sites statewide. Hybrid entries in the regional tests were planted in either an early- or a full-season maturity trial. These test sites provided a range of growing conditions and production environments.
Researchers noted that while excessive spring rains delayed planting at four of the test sites, yields at those sites nevertheless exceeded expectations. The weather conditions did alter data reporting at some locations, however, as the researchers noted in their commentary on the report (http://corn.osu.edu/newsletters/2011/2011-41/2011-ohio-corn-performance-test-an-overview).
More information on the Soybean Performance Trials and the Corn Performance Test is available via the Crop Observation and Reporting Network (http://corn.osu.edu/) newsletter.