LOUISIANA FARMERS will have data from the largest on-farm demonstration trials ever conducted in the state when they select what they plant next year. The LSU AgCenter demonstration projects, conducted during the 2004 growing season on corn, grain sorghum and soybeans, are available to farmers for the 2005 growing season.

“This is a giant step forward for our crop demonstration program in the state,” said LSU AgCenter soybean, corn and grain sorghum specialist David Lanclos. “We planted replicated variety trials on large acreages throughout the state and were able to post the results to the Web site within three days of harvest.”

By posting the variety information on the LSU AgCenter Web site, experts give farmers the chance to study the data before they order seeds for the upcoming crop season. The information can be accessed at www.lsuagcenter.com by clicking the crop and livestock link on the left side of the page.

“Most farmers book their seeds by mid-December for the following crop year,” Lanclos said, adding that producers now can study the latest information — including the LSU AgCenter's recommended varieties from commercial trials and the results from these demonstration projects — to make variety selections.

“The selection of a variety to plant is one of the most important production decisions a farmer makes in producing a grain crop, and it is one that often is overlooked,” Lanclos said.

In 2004, grain producers cooperated in the large-scale trials by allowing LSU AgCenter personnel to conduct grain variety demonstrations at 55 sites on more than 300 acres across the state.

“The response by farmers has been outstanding,” said LSU AgCenter county agent Keith Collins in Richland Parish, adding that the data collected from the large plots on different farms yields good information about soil types and cultural practices under different farming methods.