BY ALEX RENK
I’m getting old enough that I can legitimately say I have lived through most of the computer age, which is transitioning into the information age. I remember when our company used punch cards to run our 1960’s era computer. We have come a long way since then. Now, there are devices that I can speak into and about 73% of the time it returns some useful information. The thought that I can summon most of our collected knowledge on a phone I carry in my pocket still amazes me.
Now we have the ability to handle large amounts of data quickly. While Google is using this power to direct you to the funniest cat videos, Renk Seed is working to provide you with some very useful information. As a seed company, we want to make sure you get the best seed with the best results so you come back next year.
No product works perfectly on every soil, fertility, or environmental conditions. With margins stretched dangerously thin, it is very important to pick the right variety that will have the highest probability of performing well under your conditions. We have a lot of great, widely adapted products that will do well for you, but if you’re looking for the last few bushels of performance, you need to take a closer look at the data.
On our website, we have a few pages that can provide important data quickly. To find this data, go to www.renkseed.com, click on Products page and then Find A Product. For this example I chose RK608DGVT2P, one of our corn products. Once you select a product, its tech sheet appears, which includes a description of the products and its various scores.
If you click on the red PERFORMANCE banner in the upper right corner, you will see another very useful window (see page 4).
The first set of boxes talk about yield environment. Under high yield environments (+200 bu/acre plot average) RK608DGVT2P was at 103% of the plot average. This was drawn from 64 plots. Medium yield environment was 103% (24 plots) and it was in no low yield plots. The story being told here is that product does very well in both high and more average looking conditions.
The second set of boxes refers to soil type and how the product yields under three main types of soil; heavy, medium and light. In our RK608DGVT2P example, we are seeing strong response on medium and light, but not so much on heavy soils.
The last box is the non-rotated box, and in this case we are talking corn on corn. Here RK608DGVT2P is stellar at 106% above plot average.
Sometimes you will see strong geographic trends and you will notice on the right side of the page two buttons that will map the plots out. Map Individual shows each plot on a map while Map Zone gives more of a summary like the example below.
With RK608DGVT2P, we see it has an affinity for Wisconsin and Michigan, but does well all over as long as not pushed too far south where later maturity hybrids are going to dominate.
These few pages can be very beneficial in variety selection. At the very least you should be looking at your soil type, historical yield level, and fertility levels in determining which variety to use. After that comes disease resistance and geographic adaptation.
I am looking at beefing up the information delivered on these pages. Some new tools that monitor moisture levels in plots would open up some new avenues for looking at different varieties. The opportunities are endless…