University of Missouri Extension
Story source: Howard Mason, 573-882-2307
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Despite heavy rainfall and widespread reports of disease, wheat yields were good at most test sites in the University of Missouri Variety Testing Program.
Tests from parts of southeastern Missouri showed the highest yields, said Howard Mason, University of Missouri Extension research associate.
Variety tests help farmers pick what seeds to plant in the fall. For more than 75 years, seed companies have supported the program by paying fees. The tests include new and older varieties at nine locations—three MU research farms and six farmer-owned fields. Varieties are grown on plots of 1 acre or smaller and harvested with specially designed small combines.
“We test the best,” said Bill Wiebold, MU Extension agronomist. Top performers vary from year to year, reflecting the changing environment, weather and planting date. Varieties test better in different parts of the state due to Missouri’s diverse topography.
A review of several years of data shows consistent performers, he said. Yield is important, but other factors to consider include standability, hardiness, drought tolerance, and insect and disease resistance.
Mason said this has been a challenging year for anyone growing or harvesting crops in the Midwest. “We were lucky to have a couple of windows of good weather to complete harvest on the MU wheat variety test plots in late June and early July.”
Yields varied greatly from one site to another, but Mason said this information is helpful to producers to select varieties that perform under adverse conditions. At Oran in Scott County, seven varieties yielded 100 bushels or more. Mason said he was surprised by the results but that the producer at the site wasn’t. “He had sprayed fungicide and insecticide and split the nitrogen fertilizer into three applications, all of which contributed to high yields.”
There was significant disease pressure at several test sites, especially Columbia and Lamar. Test weights there were so low that the elevators would not accept the grain, Mason said. A test site at Adrian was abandoned due to poor initial stand establishment.
In the northern half of the state, Momentum 304 had the highest mean yield at 62 bushels per acre. Plots at Trenton were the top producers, with 74.6 bushels per acre on Merschman Bintee 10.
In southwestern Missouri, Hughesville plots tested 73.5 bushels per acre with Merschman Barbie 11. Momentum 304 had the region’s highest mean yield at 63.5 bushels per acre.
In the southeastern region, Dyna-Gro WX157842 yielded 101.9 bushels per acre in Oran. MFA Exp 2449 had the highest mean yield in the region at 82.6 bushels per acre.
Results of the 2015 tests are available at http://varietytesting.missouri.edu. Printed copies will be available at county extension offices or by calling 573-882-2307.