Yields useful for research at agronomy farm
Friday, November 07, 2008 2:17 AM
LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Managers of the Purdue University Crop Performance Program are deep in harvesting soybeans at their nine soybean locations around the state.
Phil DeVillez, a Purdue University agronomist and field trial coordinator, recently surveyed harvest results at the Beck’s Agronomy Farm and Research Center in Lafayette.
Using at least 150 different soybean varieties in the trial, the testers take maturity notes before harvest on the early-maturity, mid-season and late varieties they plant.
The success of the soybean testing program — which has grown 30 percent in the last two years — and the new farmer-nominated varieties of seed program, funded by the Indiana Soybean Alliance, have been highlights this year.
Sixteen different varieties were nominated in this year’s trials.
“We are always planting a year ahead,” DeVillez said. “We want to have nice, uniform seed beds.”
“The corn and soybean programs have been merged into one, and our own publication has been a huge benefit for us,” he said.
This year, farmers expressed interest in Vistive soybeans and their yield potential, DeVillez said.
He is working on finishing the fields with one assistant — a downsizing from the three field attendants he worked with two years ago.
“We haven’t dropped any locations, and we plant more than we have in the past,” he noted. “We only have one more soybean location to harvest in Vincennes. We replanted June 22 because we had 10 inches of rain Terre Haute.”
The agronomists have been very happy with their yields, even though they normally don’t have to plant in June, DeVillez said.
The ISA, which pays for the new farmer-nominated entries, receives money directly from the soybean checkoff.
DeVillez said he hopes to compile it all the yield data by this Thanksgiving and have it posted on the World Wide Web at www.agry.purdue.edu/pcpp.
The results also will be published in the Dec. 19 issue of Indiana AgriNews.
“My program is only a small part of it — there are more than 50 different research projects going on,” he said. “These companies basically pay me to run yield trials. The goal is to see what the top-yielding trials are.”
DeVillez said the program was an asset to farmers because it provided an independent source of information.
“I’m sure farmers sometimes feel overwhelmed,” he said.