All posts by Virginia Sykes, Extension Variety Testing & Agroecology

Cover Crop Variety Trial Results

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Are you thinking about putting in a cover crop this fall? While cover crops can provide many benefits, picking the right species and varieties for your system is critical to maximizing those benefits. Check out our 2020 cover crop variety trial results for a head-to-head comparison of 60 cover crop varieties at three TN locations.

Cover crops were planted in fall 2019 and evaluated for a number of important traits, including fall and winter canopy cover, biomass at termination (April and May), and estimated nitrogen release.

  • Top-performing cereal varieties, including Bates RS4 cereal rye, NF95319B cereal rye, NF 97325 cereal rye, NF99362 cereal rye, and Wintergrazer 70 cereal rye, excelled at providing fall canopy cover and spring biomass,
  • Top-performing legume varieties, including AU Merit hairy vetch, Survivor winter pea, Purple Bounty hairy vetch, Patagonia Inta hairy vetch, and WinterKing hairy vetch, excelled at providing winter canopy cover, spring biomass, and nitrogen release.
  • Top-performing brassica varieties, including Viva hybrid brassica, Digger radish, and Smart radish provided above average fall and winter canopy cover at the East and West TN locations.

More information can be found in the full publication or excel tables. A virtual tour of the plots was also presented at the virtual Milan no-till field day and is available here.

Tennessee Corn Grain REC Data Now Available

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Our county corn trial numbers are still rolling in, but results are up for the small plot trials performed at the University of Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center locations. Results can be found at as both web tables or as a downloadable excel file. These tables will be updated with county data as soon as that is available.

AgResearch and Education Center (REC) plots are 5 ft (2, 30 in rows) by 30 ft and are replicated three times per location. Total number of entries was on par with most years, totaling 89 corn hybrids, representing 14 company/brands. Continue reading

2019 Tennessee Corn Silage Hybrid Trial

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Our 2019 Tennessee corn silage hybrid trial report is now available on We had fewer hybrids than usual this year and all produced similar yields, averaging 8.4 tons/ac dry weight. Differences did show in terms of quality, however, with some hybrids producing significantly higher milk/ton. Mean separation (MS) values help us identify statistical differences between hybrids. Look for the “A” group to identify hybrids that were top performers within each trait. If looking at the online tables, be sure to scroll right to see all of the quality and agronomic traits evaluated.  Online tables can be found here or download the pdf and/or excel tables.

Cover Crop Species Selection for Tennessee Corn and Soybean Systems

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In Tennessee, corn harvest is beginning and soybeans will be right around the corner. Time to start talking about cover crops, in particular, what options are best for your cropping system. Cover crops offer many benefits to cash crop systems, including weed suppression, nutrient credits, improved soil health, pollinator habitat, and more. Many species can be used as cover crops but each differs in the ecological benefits it can provide to a system as well as in its adaptation to production regions in Tennessee.  This adaption is highly dependent on management practices, especially time of planting. A species selected as a top performer when planted after corn may not do so well in a system following soybeans, where cover crop planting is two to four weeks later. Planting a poorly adapted species reduces your return on investment in a cover cropping system, so let’s talk about what works in Tennessee. Continue reading

2018 Soybean Variety Tests in Tennessee – Prelim Report

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Our 2018 Tennessee Soybean Variety Trials report is nearly complete!   Results for yield and agronomic traits are now available – 2018 Soybean Variety Tests in Tennessee – PRELIM. Disease data will be updated early next week.  In the next week or so, these results will also be posted as mobile-friendly, searchable, sortable tables at

Thank you for your patience this year.  We pride ourselves on getting data to you as quickly as possible, but, as most of you are aware, this has been a challenging harvest season for soybeans. Persistent rains delayed harvest for many of our variety trial locations, with the county standard tests seeing the worst of these delays. Fewer county locations are reported this year due to issues related to weather delays. In spite of the delayed harvest, yields for the majority of tests were good, averaging 54.8 bu/ac in the research center tests and 53.7 bu/ac in the county tests. Several varieties with average yields exceeding 60 bu/ac were observed.

Be sure to check back next week for updated disease data and excel tables.


2018 Corn Grain Hybrid Tests in Tennessee

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As promised, our 2018 TN corn grain hybrid trial data has been finalized and is now available. Follow these links for the full pdf and all excel tables.  We are still working on getting our web-friendly, sortable, and searchable tables up on  I’ll post to the blog as soon as they are available, which should be sometime next week.

Due to persistent rain delaying harvest at some locations, our soybean variety trials data is likely still a week or two away, but will be posted as soon as possible!