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Michigan farm hosts three FIRST seed trials this year



CHARLOTTE, Mich. — There were three separate groups of seed tests at the farm of Jim and Dennis Orr in Charlotte this season. The tests were for different corn varieties, conducted by the Farmers’ Independent Research of Seed Technologies (FIRST), a firm based out of Cary, Ill.

The three trials included an all-season test, an early-season test and a full-season test. The all-season test was included in FIRST’s west-central region, said Jason Beyers, the firm’s test site manager. This was due in part to the fact there weren’t that many seed varieties entered this season – only 36 for each trial, he noted.

“Farther north in Michigan, you’re going to have to grow shorter-season corn,” Beyers explained.

The early- and full-season tests were considered part of FIRST’s southern Michigan region. Beyers made the same comments in each report. For each test all seed was planted and harvested the same days, May 19 and Oct. 29, respectively.

“This plot was no-till planted into wheat stubble,” he explained. “Stand establishment was good, but early growth was limited by hot dry weather. It recovered when rains began in late June and grew and pollinated well.

“Yield potential at that point was normal or better, but very dry conditions during grain fill limited yield. Stalk quality was good, but that was partially due to short plant height.”

The top-yielding varieties for the all-season test were led by NuTech/G2 Gen 5F-601, with a yield of 166.9 bushels per acre, a moisture score of 23.3 percent, stand score of 33,500 and gross income per acre of $493. This product ranked second for income.

Dairyland DS-9599 ranked second in yield, at 165.7 bushels, with a moisture score of 21.5 percent, stand score of 32,500 and gross income of $498. It was No. 1 in this test for gross income. NuTech/G2 Gen 5F-504 ranked third with a yield of 161.1 bushels per acre, moisture of 24 percent, a stand of 34,400 and gross income per acre of $472. It was ranked fourth in this test for gross income.

For the early-season test, Great Lakes variety 5029VT2RIB came out on top with a yield of 163.8 bushels per acre, moisture score of 20.9 percent, stand of 36,200 and gross income of $495 per acre. NuTech/G2 Gen 5F-601 took the No. 2 spot for yield, with 162.7 bushels, moisture percentage of 23.2, stand of 33,500 and gross income of $481. It was ranked No. 3 for income.

Seed Consultants variety SCS 1018YHR was ranked third by yield, at 159.9 bushels per acre, with a moisture score of 23.5 percent, stand of 33,500 and gross income of $471 per acre. Its gross income rank was seventh.

For the full-season test, the top-yielding brand was Renk RK717SSTX, with a yield of 163.4 bushels per acre, moisture of 24.9 percent, stand score of 30.7 and gross income of $474 per acre. No. 2 was Seed Consultants variety SCS 10HR43, with a yield of 161 bushels, moisture of 24.1 percent, stand of 31,600 and gross income of $471.

M&W Seeds variety 45N89 was ranked third for yield at 157.8 bushels per acre, with a moisture score of 24.7 percent, a stand of 33,500 and gross income of $459 per acre. It was actually ranked No. 4 for gross income.

For a complete list of all brands tested and a searchable database of information, visit