Oppressive humidity and mid-90s temperatures weren't enough to dissuade nearly 500 producers and industry folks from finding a comfortable spot to sit on a hay bale-lined trailer at the 2002 Terral Seed field day in Greenville, Miss.

What they got in return for spending an afternoon under the glaring sun was a heat-friendly straw hat and a first-hand look at the seed company's newest offerings. The annual field day also afforded growers the opportunity to guarantee their 2003 seed supply by pre-ordering at the one-day event.

A Louisiana-based company, Terral Seed prides itself on breeding lines in the South for the South. “Our research facilities are scattered all through the Mid-South so we can provide you products that work in your neighborhood,” says Donnie Glover, research manager for Terral Seed. “We try to develop our products just like you farm so they will fit in your production system.”

Clyde Smith, Mississippi field sales manager, says, “Everything we produce is bred for the Ark-La-Miss area. We really don't care what works in Illinois, we only care about what works here in the Delta.”

Before Terral Seed releases a new variety or hybrid for commercial use, the potential line undergoes five years of field testing designed to eliminate all but the highest-yielding prospects, according to Bruce Jones, Louisiana field sales manager.

Jones explains, “You are the only customer base we have, so we have to do our homework before we can release a variety.”

The process begins with a multitude of replicated research plots, after which the top 1 percent of these new seed candidates move on to year two, when about 30 hybrids are evaluated in advancement plots. To graduate to year three of testing, potential varieties must beat the company's already-available commercial lines. In year three, the potential varieties and hybrids are included in state variety trials, and in year four they face head-to-head competition in on-farm comparison studies. If they emerge victorious, they're ready to be released commercially.

The company's newest releases include two corn and two grain sorghum hybrids, five soybean varieties and two wheat varieties. Following is a quick look at some of the company's most recent seed releases.

Corn

Mid-South corn growers looking for another hybrid to add to their crop mix may want to consider TV23R15 or TV26BR10. TV23R15 features the Roundup Ready technology. TV26BR10 features stacked gene Yield Gard Corn Borer and Roundup Ready technology.

In addition, TV23R15 promises quick emergence and rapid early growth. It reportedly adapts to variable soils, and offers a flex ear with excellent shuck and tip coverage, and strong tolerance to anthracnose, leaf blight and rust.

The hybrid TV26BR10 also emerges quickly, and offers rapid early growth as well as good late-season plant health, stalk strength and ear retention.

Sorghum

In its grain sorghum lines Terral Seed is now offering a medium-maturity TV93S72, and a medium- to full-maturity TV96H81.

According to the company, TV93S72 provides consistently high yields across variable production environments, excellent uniformity and standability, and very good tolerance to charcoal root rot, and it handles heat and drought stress well.

Among the strengths offered by TV96H81 are top-end yields, excellent test weight grain, and large-seeded red grain. This variety is also well-suited for mixed or heavier soils.

Soybeans

New Terral Seed soybean varieties include TV4886RR, TV52R42, TV58R11, TV59R98, and TV59R98. Gregg Matheny, field sales manager for southeast Arkansas and north central Mississippi, says, “These beans will fit just about anywhere you could put them.”

A 4.8-maturity soybean with Roundup Ready technology, TV4886RR can be planted early or late in a Group IV window. It responds well to flood irrigation and is rated 8 for aerial blight tolerance. Planted from the Gulf Coast north throughout the Mid-South, it adapts to all soil types, the company says.

Another Roundup Ready soybean, TV52R42 is a high-yielding, early-maturing Group V with a bushy canopy that adapts on rows up to 38 inches. It exhibits good stress tolerance, responds best to medium or loam soils, and is resistant to stem canker.

The company's highest-yielding Group V variety, TV58R11, has produced excellent yields across all soil types in company tests. Introduced in 2002, it is tolerant to aerial blight, phytopthera, soybean cyst nematode races three and 14, and is well-adapted for clay soil and flood irrigation.

Another Roundup Ready variety, TV59R98 handles flood irrigation well, offers superior yields in tough environments, and works well in double-cropping systems. According to the company, this variety thrives in solid clay soil in row spacings of 36 inches or less.

A late Group V maturity Roundup Ready soybean, TV59R98 performs well in tough conditions including flood irrigated production systems on clay soils. A medium-tall, bushy plant for all row widths, Terral Seed says this variety provides growers with a solid clay choice that responds to flood irrigation, and has very good ratings for stem canker and frogeye leaf spot with Southern root-knot nematode tolerance.

Wheat

The company's newest wheat varieties are TV8450 and TV8565. Both varieties offer high-yield potentials, and excellent stalk strength and tolerance ratings for rust.


e-mail: dmuzzi@primediabusiness.com.