FIRST provides timely unbiased comparisons of innovative seed genetics to improve yield and profitability for American corn and soybean farmers.
The mission began in 1997 when 64 corn grain hybrids from 14 seed company sponsors were tested at 12 sites in Illinois. The program now tests corn grain, corn silage and soybean seed products in 15 states (North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland). We utilize 11 field managers and their independent businesses to identify, plant and harvest 558 tests at 348 locations (in 2018).
Farmer members assist in test site selection, conduct all production operations and provide all inputs except seed, it's planting and crop harvest. Companies willing to sponsor our research decide which products to test, where to test them, and provide seed. Only a select group of products are tested. In 2018, 996 corn products from 75 companies and 686 soybean products from 54 companies were tested.
Our unbiased hybrid and variety yield and agronomic results are reported for each individual test site and as a regional average over all sites in the region. On average, test results are reported on our website within 4 days of harvest.
FIRST has grown into an association of farmers and businesses organized to measure and report the yield and agronomic performance of corn and soybean seed products. We encourage the use of this information by farmers, consultants, agronomists and seed industry representatives for improving yield and profitability of American farm operations. Have a comment or suggestion? Please