Jason Webster’s belief in the value of a multi-hybrid planter is paying off in fields with variable soils. Webster, who is research director for Beck’s Hybrids’ Practical Farm Research program, began experimenting with multi-hybrid planting in 2012.
“Our thought was to plant ‘offensive’ hybrids in highly productive soils and ‘defensive’ hybrids in less productive soils,” Webster explained to farmers attending the Tools For The Future conference held Monday by Successful Farmingmagazine.
Webster explains that by offensive hybrids he means high yielding varieties that flourish in highly productive soils. Defensive hybrids refer to varieties that hold their yield in less productive soils.
The payoff from using a multi-hybrid planter that can change between offensive and defensive hybrids is now certain, Webster reports. Beck’s research shows that corn fields seeded with a multi-hybrid planter produced 7.9 bushels more per acre resulting in a $42.77-per-acre payoff.
The impact with soybeans was a 3.2-bushel-per-acre increase in yield resulting in a $38.48-per-acre gain. “This data shows that you can pay for a multi-hybrid planter in one year, even on an 1,100-acre farm,” Webster pointed out.