Arkansas Crop Variety Improvement Program - May 2013
[Don Dombek, Directory of the Arkansas Crop Variety Improvement Program, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Research and Extension University of Arkansas System, Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board.]
My name is Don Dombek and I’m director of the Arkansas Crop Variety Improvement Program which is part of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. [Don is standing outside of the Arkansas Crop Variety Improvement Program building.]
What I want to talk about today is our variety testing program. I serve as project leader for three variety testing programs, soybeans, corn and grain sorghum. Our objective in variety testing is to develop as much useful information as we can for growers. It’s something we take very seriously and we try to be very organized about.
This morning I thought what might be interesting is to get a little behind-the-scenes look at some of the work that goes on in variety testing before our crop tests are planted.
Here we are inside the seed lab of variety testing seed program. [Don is standing inside the lab with boxes of seeds.] This is the area where we take the large packets of seed, or packages of seed we receive from seed companies and other public institutions and turn them into individual plot seed packaged like this. Most of our seed has already been packaged and in the field now, but we are still finishing up. This is the double crop soybean test that will be established at Keiser at the Northeast Research and Extension Center. [Video shows Rich Bond, Program Association, coming to a research plot with boxes full of different seed varieties.]
Variety testing season really begins in January. During January, we send out applications and outlines to all interested parties: all the private seed companies and other public institutions that may have breeding programs that want to enter varieties and strains in our tests. [Video shows Rich on a planter planting seeds. ]
In a typical year, we’re going to test for 30-40 private companies and about 5-10 public institutions.
Variety testing information is important because selection of a variety is really the cornerstone of any crop management system. And it’s a decision that growers make every year. They choose which variety or varieties to plant. The choice of a poor variety or un-adapted variety could cost a grower easily 10 bushels per acre per year, so we feel it’s very important to have an accurate program and to develop good reports that contain accurate data.
This is a copy of one of soybean reports here as I said, runs about 100 pages. We also publish reports, hard copy reports for corn and grain sorghum. But all this information is available on our website. [Don shows the 2012 Arkansas Soybean Performance Tests publication.]
Our website can be found at http://arkansas-variety-testing.uark.edu/
[For more information visit on soybean products visit http://arkansas-variety-testing.uark.edu/. University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Research and Extension University of Arkansas System, Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board.]