The author is a corn agronomist with the University of Wisconsin extension.

This time of year, growers are under a lot of pressure to buy seed. Seed salesman pursue seed seed commitments through volume pricing and early purchase incentives even before the current year's yield trial results are tabulated. Growers often respond by putting a "hold" on seed orders, but not committing to specific hybrids until yield results are published.

When buying hybrids, look at the science behind the product and avoid the commercial spin. Choose hybrids wisely by using comparative yield performance data. Above all, remember the basic principles of hybrid selection:

1. Use multi-location averages to compare hybrids
2. Evaluate the consistency of hybrid performance
3. Buy the traits you need
4. Every hybrid must stand on its own
5. Pay attention to seed costs

For a further discussion of this principle, please visit this website.

Read the complete article in the November 2010 issue of Hoard's Dairyman on page 778.