16 Nov 2020
Mix Matters Tool

Add Confidence with the Mix Matters Tool

It’s that time of year you’re reviewing performance and placing seed orders. The most common conversations in the months ahead revolve around data and hybrid performance, but it’s important to not fall into the trap of looking at one local plot, buying the plot winners from that plot and moving on. Multi-year data from multiple locations, and using the new Mix Matters Tool, helps avoid this trap.

LG Seeds has a vast range of hybrids. In fact, we have such a range that it can feel overwhelming if you’re not familiar with the products. Because of this, it can be tempting to only look at local plots and make decisions based on those one or two plots. But does the plot have the same tillage type, soil type, management practices, or even populations that are recommended for those hybrids? The answer is probably no.

Corn Plot Variation

If a local plot is planted late with conventional tillage but you plant early on no-till ground, the results can be very different. Most plots are planted at the same population for every hybrid, but we know some hybrids need more population (and some need less) to achieve their maximum yield. Weather challenges that vary by area also impact hybrid performance greatly. For example, a product such as LG59C72 has been at the top of the three year data set for its maturity group. This year, LG59C72 won many plots across the state, but there were some plots where it did not perform as expected. Many farmers across the state are very happy with this highly recommended product, but some are cautious due to one plot in their local area.

This year in Ohio, you could drop a pin on the map in the state, drive five miles in any direction and find crops that were both record good and record bad, and variable rainfall was largely what attributed to this problem. My personal farm was eight inches below the five-year average for rainfall. Another farm five miles south of my farm was two inches above the five-year average for rainfall. The same hybrid, planted the same day under the same management practices, had a 70-bushel difference in yield. If farmers just referred to the plot at my farm to make their decision, many would miss out on a very good product just because it did not perform as well at one location with this year’s low rainfall. With all that said, local plots are very important, but more data, from more locations, over more years, is needed to make an informed decision.

Mix Matters Tool

This is where multiyear data and the Mix Matters Tool come into play, and why both are so important to hybrid placement. At LG Seeds we have a Pre-Commercial Release (PCR) program with plots across the entire country. In Ohio, there are eight locations where agronomists analyze and evaluate multiple products at multiple times throughout the growing season. These plots are replicated to improve accuracy and are carefully placed to give us high level of confidence in both selecting hybrids and deciding where to place them. This PCR data, plus data from our STAR Partners and farmers and strip plots add even more levels of confidence for our hybrids.

Overall, there is not a perfect hybrid that can do it all, but if farmers diversify their hybrids to ensure they plant a mix of products, the will have the best possible outcome, regardless of what the year throws at us. At LG Seeds we call this “perfect mix” approach Mix Matters. The Mix Matters Tool was developed by LG Seeds, with insights from the research and agronomy team, to offer the best possible placement advice on every field, of every farm, in every year.

The Mix Matters Tool asks what the goals, challenges, and management practices are for each field. Then, critical environment (soil and weather) information is supplied by the tool for every field. Finally, the tool applies the genetic information to each field in the form of product rankings, created by the local Technical Team Agronomist (TTA), from plot data and personal experience to each field’s specific parameters to offer Genetics x Environment x Management recommendations for each field.

The local TTA has a very large impact on this tool, which is truly unique compared to other digital ag tools in the industry. After thorough testing and personal experience, I, as a TTA, rate the products in my area differently than other TTA’s across the county because of how I’ve witnessed them perform in my area. So, the Mix Matters Tool is like having your LG Seeds TTA in your pocket at any time of day. The Mix Matters Tool is simple to use on your smartphone, tablet, or the computer. It is a fast, easy process that gives you confidence when making product selection and placement choices.

As you sit down to look at the corn hybrids and soybean varieties you’ll plant this year, give the Mix Matters Tool a try. Thank you for your support of LG Seeds, have a safe harvest rest of harvest and reach out to your LG Seeds STAR Partner dealer with any questions.