NDSU new variety tool launches for public

Elizabeth Cronin
Special to Devils Lake Daily Journal

DEVILS LAKE  - North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station and North Dakota State University (NDSU) Extension researchers test varieties of the major cereal and broadleaf crops for yield and quality characteristics on an annual basis. Variety selection guides summarize the results of these variety trials conducted in 2021. Summary guides for all major crops can be obtained at http://bit.ly/NDSUVarietyGuides. The PDFs can be downloaded and printed. On the same page, variety trial results for major and minor crops can be found by test location. Printed copies of selection guides also can be obtained from NDSU Extension county offices or from Agriculture Communication at NDSU.

Wheat trials at Grand Forks, North Dakota, 2021.

“The selection guide series with variety information about North Dakota’s main crops, include hard red spring wheat, durum, hard red winter wheat, barley, oats, rye, corn, canola, dry field peas, flax and soybeans,” says Hans Kandel, NDSU Extension broadleaf crops agronomist.

“Replicated trials are grown by main station and REC agronomists and harvested to generate the unbiased information that goes into these publications,” says Clair Keene, NDSU Extension cereal crops agronomist.

“The best way to select a high-yielding variety is to use data averaged across several locations and years,” says Kandel.

"During the 2021 growing season, various locations in North Dakota experienced drought conditions, and in certain locations, trial yields were lower than normal,” says Keene.

“Selecting the right variety or hybrid can be one of the most critical steps in profitable production,” says Bob Bertsch, NDSU web technology specialist. “With so many varieties to choose from, variety selection can be challenging. We developed a new variety selection tool to help farmers make their selections by accessing, sorting and visualizing variety trial data.”

The variety tool is part of the newly organized NDSU Ag Hub (www.ndsu.edu/agriculture/ag-hub). Farmers can select a crop and a specific trial location, and a sortable table will show the varieties, characteristics measured in the field, yield and quality traits observed. Each column can be sorted, so farmers can find the information needed quickly.