"Ozark is an early Maturity Group 5 with good disease resistance," said Pengyin Chen, soybean breeder for the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station.

Chen said Ozark scored a higher average yield – 61.9 bushels per acre – than any other public or commercial variety in the 2003 Arkansas Soybean Performance Test for early Maturity Group 5 soybeans.

The trials were conducted in irrigated and non-irrigated test plots in six locations around Arkansas. Ozark's best yields were in irrigated plots at the Northeast Extension and Research Center at Keiser (71.2 bushels per acre) and the Rice Research and Extension Center at Stuttgart (70.8 bushels per acre).

"Ozark has proven to be very stable and high-yielding anywhere in the state," Chen said.

Ozark also came in second – average of 56.1 bushels per acre – in Mississippi performance trials conducted at eight locations. The highest yielding variety in the Mississippi test was an experimental Arkansas variety that hasn't been released, yet.

In USDA Southern Regional Uniform Group 5 Tests, Ozark yielded higher than Hutcheson and Manokin soybeans. As an experimental line, it was tested in 17 environments from 2000 to 2002 and proved to have a good stand and resistance to shattering.

Chen said tests indicate it is resistant to stem canker, moderately resistant to frogeye leaf spot and sudden death syndrome. He said it is moderately susceptible to root knot nematode.

Foundation seed for Ozark was available to seed companies this year. Certified seed for Ozark is widely available for planting in 2004, said Don Dombek, coordinator of the University of Arkansas Crop Variety Improvement Program.

Dombek said Ozark is available from Eagle Seed Co. in Weiner, Griffin Seed and Grain Co. in Newark, Petrus Seed and Grain Co. in Hazen, Carter-Cox Seed in Knobel, Glendan Lambert and Lee Walt in Dumas and H.P. Maddox III in Jonesboro.

"Ozark will be protected by a Title V Plant Variety Protection certificate," Dombek said. "This means that seed of Ozark will have to be sold by variety name, and that seed must be certified by the Arkansas State Plant Board."

He said producers will be able to save seed for planting on their own farm.

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