From Issue Winter 2022
The plethora of choices of varieties and hybrids among row crops and forage crops can be overwhelming for producers. To help farmers make the best selection, the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station (MAFES) conducts Variety Trials, a service provided in the state since the early 1900s. The trials give growers important insight into seed selection to choose the best variety or hybrid based on soil type, geography, and other characteristics. All tested crops are planted in different locations within an optimal window that allows researchers to compare each location separately and statistically.
The MAFES Official Variety Trials examine yield as well as other data such as maturity date, plant height, lodging, reaction to disease and herbicides, and plant characteristics, depending on the crop. Evaluated crops include corn, cotton, grain sorghum, peanuts, rice, soybeans, wheat, oats, forage, and cover crops. The MAFES Official Variety Trials are professionally managed and conducted by a team of experts in a research-oriented environment to minimize variability. These trials provide unbiased, comprehensive information that assists farmers in making pivotal decisions about variety and hybrid selection and management.