We’ve been asked a number of times how and why Armor Seed conducts commercial strip testing on our products. Testing Armor Seed under field conditions similar to those where they will be sold and grown gives us a lot of information about what we can expect from a variety during the season, and how it will likely perform under a number of different conditions. We are committed to delivering the very best products to our growers, and commercial strip testing is a big reason we can do just that.
When choosing varieties, the Armor team listens to our genetic providers, takes their recommendations, and then tests those out to see how that product really works in the field. As a regional company, we are fortunate to work with a number of genetic sources, which gives us versatility and diversity in the products we can offer our growers.
Beginning in December, we review the varieties that will be available for the following growing season and compile a list of those we’d like to test. We acquire seed from those companies—preferably in January/February for corn and February/March for soybeans. We then bring the seed into our testing facilities, and package plot sets for our sales agronomists and independent testing contractors to conduct plot work in their markets, as well as university use in official variety trials (OVT). The testing and production phases work in tandem. In all, to ensure we are testing across geographies, we are looking at approximately 100 CST trials each for corn and soybeans and 30 mini strip locations for corn.
What Sets Armor Seed Apart?
Many seed companies do, in fact, perform strip trials. When we set up ours, we make sure to plant the same entry set so all of our data is repetitious. Planting the same plot sets means you can show consistency and trends across your trials. When you see the same products performing across a wide range of geographies and conditions, you begin to have some confidence in that variety or hybrid. We’re a bit picky when it comes to plot evaluation as well. We don’t typically contract out the management of our plots; rather our agronomists, seed reps and product team conduct all evaluation through the season.
This process benefits the growers because of the valuable information we can pass along about the performance of our products. But, it also holds value for the entire Armor team because we learn a great deal about the seed we offer and the areas we serve so we can have confidence when making product recommendations. The trust our growers place in us is never taken lightly.
In summary, you can be assured that the Armor team is 100 percent committed to the testing process. The goal behind this diligent effort? To increase yield and enhance the agronomics and seed traits we can offer our growers so it translates to success in their fields.