FIRST Seed Tests was started in 1997 by Kevin Coey, when he planted 12 corn test sites in Illinois. This first planting included 64 hybrids and had 14 seed corn companies as sponsors.
The program now tests corn grain, corn silage and soybean seed products in 16 states (North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia). We utilize 11 field managers and their independent businesses to identify, plant and harvest 492 tests at 312 locations (in 2016).
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 2016, 59 companies sponsored 797 corn products and 52 companies sponsored 720 soybean products.
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.
So, from one man, FIRST Seed Tests has grown into an association of farmers and businesses organized to identify newly developed and trait-added seed corn and soybean products that improve farm operations, with a full reporting structure, electronic support, report notification and more. Have a comment or suggestion? Please contact us!