Comparing crop performance results from multiple trial locations and seed companies typically involves a lot of printout shuffling to get a fix on corn hybrid and soybean variety performance.
Yield Pop, a new online service, takes some of the tedium out of comparing performance data on the latest seed offerings, drawing from a database of thousands of products and more than a quarter-million independent field trials conducted by Farmer’s Independent Research of Seed Technologies, or FIRST, as well as land-grant universities from across the Corn Belt.
Plus, it does a whole lot more, according to Matthew Perkins of Yield Pop. Want to compare seed performance by soil type, tillage or rotational system? With a few keystrokes to outline key parameters, Yield Pop slices and dices the data the way you want.
“The default search is for yield from trials in the region where you farm,” says Perkins. “But you get a lot more mileage out of the tool if you isolate for environmental and management factors that can affect yield, such as soils or tillage practices. You also can look at two products head to head. Two products that look like they have the same yield, when you put them on a specific soil type, can perform dramatically differently.”
When introduced in early fall 2013, Yield Pop got up and running with a database of 5,000 products and 100,000 FIRST seed tests. Seed trial data from key Corn Belt universities was slated to be added shortly thereafter. Data from 2013 trials will be added regularly as they become available.
Easy to use
Perkins acknowledges that growers already have access to data from yield trials conducted by a variety of sources, including seed companies, FIRST and universities. But Yield Pop provides not only easy, one-stop access to key independent seed performance data — seed company trials are beyond its scope — but also a way to compare data from multiple trials and sources simultaneously.
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The Yield Pop website uses a simple questionnaire to drive corn hybrid and soybean variety comparisons. Fill in the blanks for crop, maturity, seed brands and seed technologies, and a few seconds later, a performance comparison report arrives. The report can be further sorted and refined by region, soil texture, tillage practices and previous crop.
“We are only at the start of what we will be able to do with the data sets in the future,” says Perkins, who, along with partner Alex Wimbush, formerly worked for Syngenta. “We want to be able to look at optimum planting dates, response to nitrogen, fungicides, rainfall and more.”
Yield Pop, including all analytical tools, is free under a Basic subscription. But product reports with more performance details come with a price tag after you have generated two free reports. The Pro 10 plan, at $24.99, provides 10 product reports, plus head-to-head product comparisons, which aren’t included in the Basic plan. A Pro 100 account sells for $99. It provides 100 product reports, plus head-to-head comparisons.