We talked with Iowa producer Jim Greif this month about his experiences as a FIRST plot host and a 1000-acre corn, soybean, and wheat farmer in east central Iowa. He has been a seed farmer-dealer for many years, and got involved with FIRST to watch products compete in the same field. Greif appreciates the work that Randy Meinsma, FIRST Field Manager for the area, has done over the years. "He's honest and does a good job."
Getting a first hand look at the plots has demonstrated that a larger plot size works better than mini-plots they've also hosted on their farm. He feels that FIRST's data quality is higher than other research done in as little as 13 ft strips.
We asked what other kinds of information Greif would find valuable in his operation. He said that more and better information about plant responses to non-target herbicide applications and residues would benefit farmers. Noticing that beans can tolerate some minor drift damage and still yield well, he said research that gives producers more insights into stress tolerance and herbicide programs from year to year would be interesting.
For seed purchase decisions, he observed that "seed is an emotional thing, just like that red or green preference in equipment." When it comes to trial data though, "people trust FIRST." We aim to continuing earning that trust by conducting professional yield testing, providing solid performance data for American farmers.