Joe Lauer, Wisconsin Corn Agronomist
Seed is one of the best ways to transfer technology to the farm-gate. Every year universities across the country conduct crop hybrid/variety evaluation programs. The purpose of these programs is to provide unbiased performance comparisons of crop varieties and hybrids available commercially to farmers. These trials are important because slight increases in yield can translate into huge economic impacts for farmers. For example, a one bushel increase by U.S. corn farmers across 90 million acres increases farm income $180 to $450 million depending upon corn price ($2 to $5 per bushel). Recent corn yields have been increasing at the rate of 2 bushels per acre year.