In the spring of 2008, when we started this project, we set up parameters to go by. We had many concerns and goals that had to be addressed.
Very limited selections of quality organic seed. – The various problems in obtaining organic seed for fair comparison purposes presented a problem. In recent years most focus has been on genetic engineering and stacking traits in seed, but very little has been done in organic varieties.
The year 2008 was a poor year for corn production in much of Michigan. We had a cold wet spring and could not get good emergence at planting time. Cultivating was difficult due to weather concerns and different crop sizes. At harvest time it became obvious that we had too many inconsistencies to have a fair trial. I could not report which varieties did what as it would have been very unfair to the seed producers, to me personally, and to my trial observants.
I, along with Ben Sattelberg and Mike Hunt decided to attempt the same strategy in 2009 as we did in 2008. We had a very similar start in the 2009 growing season as we did in 2008, up until about June 15th – 20th. We received so much rain we could not get into the fields.
The end result was pretty much the same as in 2008 – inconclusive.
Here we are in 2010 once again trying to get a fair plot. On June 3rd I planted 5 organic varieties in a 75 acre field with the corn starting to come up yesterday on June 8th! Things are looking better. I am anticipating a better year.