Frequently Asked Questions

Can I obtain results from a single location and use them to choose a variety for my farm?

We are now making data from individual locations available in spreadsheets. However, this data should be used with caution because of the limited number of replicates and year-to-year variation a single location will experience. We recommend using multi-location, multi-year summaries because they are more reliable for predicting future variety performance.

Why isn’t “My Favorite Number” in the test?

Varieties that are included in the trials are our own releases and those entered by private seed companies and other public breeding programs in the region. We include a few commonly grown varieties as checks as well. If you don't see your favorite private seed company’s variety in the test, contact your seed representative and ask them to enter in the UMN variety trials. You should also feel free to contact the test coordinator and we will try to include it next year if feasible.

How do you select the varieties/hybrids you test?

Varieties in the trials are entered by seed company representatives and/or other public breeding programs in the region. 

In what types of environments do you grow your plots?

Trial locations are a combination of University Research and Outreach Centers and fields of cooperating farmers. We strive to select locations that are representative for the different maturity zones and/or agro ecological zones across Minnesota.

If the test isn’t grown on my farm, or on my soil type, are the data applicable to my field?

Variety selection simulations in Minnesota and Wisconsin using actual trial data have shown that using means that were based multiple years and multiple locations were a better predictor of what you can expect from a variety on your farm the next growing season when compared to picking a variety based on the results on your farm last season (for additional details please read Hicks, D.R., R.E. Stucker, and J.H. Orf (1992))

Who is eligible to enter a variety/hybrid into the Variety Testing Program?

Both public and private developers of varieties are eligible to enter varieties in the performance trials for field crops as long as the variety is not essentially derived, a PVP application has been submitted or has been granted, or an application for a utility patent has been submitted or has been granted.  At this time the University of Minnesota will not test any cisgenic or transgenic varieties in the performance evaluations for field crops that have not received full registration.

What happens when a variety is entered in a different name?

“Brand” names and “variety” names are different and are meant to be used for different purposes. “Brand” names refer to the seed source or the person labeling and selling the seed. “Brand” does not refer to the genetic makeup of the seed. “Variety” names refer to the genetic makeup of seed and they may only refer to a specific genetic makeup. “Branding” is a useful way for companies to market products without having to constantly redo the identification and promotional information they offer. Entries are labeled by "brand" and it is possible that the same variety was entered under multiple "brand" names.

Is the information in the seed guide the same as the one on the Web?