Extension Sponsored Variety Trials Provide Economic Boost to Agricultural Community of Northeast North Carolina.
The Extension Centers of northeast NC, which includes Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Gates, Pasquotank, and Perquimans counties, work together to coordinate their variety trials for corn, soybean, cotton, and wheat. This results in the growers of the region being provided with multi-location performance data, that is more robust. The Extension Centers work in conjunction with the growers of the region as well as seed companies to evaluate varieties of interest to this area. Growers that utilized the variety trial data for 2015 when selecting varieties to plant in 2016 could have benefitted by utilizing some of the well adapted high yielding varieties. For select varieties of corn, wheat, and soybean that performed well in 2016, their yield advantage (i.e. how many bushel/acre better they did when compared to the average of all the varieties evaluated) was determined. In addition, the acres planted and average price was determined for the select varieties, to quantify the economic benefit of the trials. A total of 12 variety trials were conducted for corn, soybean, and wheat in 2016. For these trials, the economic benefit to farmers utilizing varieties determined to be high yielding and well adapted to northeast North Carolina was $1,212,755.