NC Variety Selection Tool Update
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The North Carolina Official Variety Testing Program (NC OVT) has developed a powerful tool that allows us to get a personalized view of variety selection for corn, wheat, and soybeans. One major advantage is not having to sort through all of the varieties out there, only the ones that match your operation’s needs. Like any new technology, this online tool will require a little time for learning the particulars, but the skill is a very useful one to have.
This article will only outline the basic features of this technology. I would attempt to use the tool first, but ask your county extension agent how to use the tool if you are stumped or don’t know where to begin. Likely they will have had training or some experience with it.
First, you will need to select the crop you are wanting to find a variety for. Again, currently, the choices are corn, wheat, and soybeans. From there you have four features to choose from; “Find Variety,” “Query Variety,” “Compare Varieties,” and “Analytics.” Analytics is a great place to start for most circumstances.
The Analytics feature allows you to select the type of data you want to see (yield, height, test weight, top yield group, and more) and compare all the varieties in a certain year based on that data group. This will build a large table that breaks comparisons up by Trial Region/Location, Year Average, and Multi-Year Comparisons. It is best for filtering out the traits you might not want to see in a variety. You can have one table that shows you only the varieties that fit your criteria, which makes for easier reading and better decision making.
You can search individual varieties under the Find Variety feature. Some information that comes with each variety is the year it was tested, where it was tested, traits, pictures, and how it performed in trials. This is useful if you already have a variety on hand or in mind and want to know more about it.
The Compare Varieties feature allows you to select the varieties you want to compare to one another. The tool will produce a table with varieties in the columns and the data fields in the rows. This view is easy to read and interpret without being overwhelmed by data.
Under the Query Variety feature you can look up general characteristics that are important to you such as yield, height, maturity group, and many more. The tool will develop a variety list for you that only match your needs. You can then use those select varieties and compare them side-by-side and see how they stack up against one another, just as you would with the compare varieties feature mentioned before.
This is a new tool that the NC OVT Program and software developers are working hard to make better for producers every day. Variety data from trials will be updated as soon as they are available each year. Information and updates on the NC OVT Program can be found at Official Variety Testing or by subscribing for email updates.