Iowa Crop Performance Tests to See Changes in 2005

Del Koch, Iowa Crop ImprovemenSeveral changes are in store next year for the Iowa Crop Performance Tests for corn and soybeans, the statewide program that evaluates the performance of crop varieties. The tests, which are conducted cooperatively by the Iowa Crop Improvement Association (ICIA) and Iowa State University's Department of Agronomy, provide Iowa seed producers and farmers with information on the performance of corn hybrids, soybean varieties and other field crops. "High-quality, unbiased data on commercial seed have been the hallmark of the testing program since its inception in 1920," said Del Koch, director of the ICIA. "We're always open to suggestions on how to improve the tests and welcome the input," said Kendall Lamkey, Pioneer Hi-Bred Distinguished Chair in Maize Breeding in the Department of Agronomy. "Based on feedback we've been hearing, we plan to make some changes for 2005 that we think will improve the tests and make them more user friendly to Iowans." Program changes for 2005 will include:Redrawing testing districts for both corn and soybeans, with the goal of achieving a better representation of the production areas of the state. Some testing locations will include both corn and soybeans tests.Better integration of tests with ISU's extension and research programsImproved presentation of individual location resultsPosting of test results on the Web as they become availableReformatted, more user-friendly printed reportsHiring of a new manager to oversee the tests in early 2005Koch said a mailing of procedures and entry forms for the 2005 growing season will be sent to seed producers in January. Questions and comments can be directed to Koch, (515) 294-4166 or dkoch@, or Lamkey, (515) 294-7826; The Iowa Crop Improvement Association, a nonprofit organization, is the official seed-certifying agency in Iowa. ICIA's membership is made up of farmers, seed producers and others interested in crop improvement. The ICIA's current president is Mike Bielenberg of Syngenta/Garst. For more information: Association, 294-4166, dkoch@ Kendall Lamkey, Agronomy, (515) 294-7826,