Variety testing program’s stakeholders to benefit from new collaboration

Harvested peanut plants lie in a field in which a tractor is harvesting the plant

By Henry Jordan

Thanks to a grant from the National Peanut Board, a new multistate collaboration will allow the Auburn University Official Variety Testing (OVT) program to provide its stakeholders access to new data.

The OVT first contracted with Medius Ag, a third-party agricultural data management company, in 2021 to store, manage, and maintain Auburn OVT data in an online database and tool available to all stakeholders.

The goal was for stakeholders to increase efficiency and accuracy when making the first and most important decision of the season: What variety(s) should I plant?

Since the partnership with Medius Ag began, each crop under the OVT umbrella, plus on-farm trials conducted by Alabama Extension, have been included. Minor updates and new features have been added routinely as Medius has implemented ideas and requests. One such idea is this multistate collaboration.

Now, Alabama, Georgia and Florida stakeholders have peanut data available through the Medius Ag platform. When looking at Alabama peanut data, stakeholders can click the “third party data” button, allowing them to see data from all three states in one location. This collaboration gives stakeholders additional research-based support for making a peanut variety selection.

As of April 2024, results from North Carolina State and Clemson University are now available to Alabama stakeholders through the Medius platform. NC State is now sharing corn, wheat, and soybean data. Clemson is sharing corn, wheat, soybean and cotton data.

The benefits of this new collaboration are numerous. When industry and breeding programs release new varieties, they often look at the data more broadly than just within Alabama. Now, industry and breeders can make more efficient and accurate decisions about what varieties they should bring to market, which will benefit growers in the long run.

Financial support for Alabama’s collaboration with Medius Ag comes from Auburn University, the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service and checkoff dollars from each of Alabama’s commodity groups: the Alabama Cotton Commission, the Alabama Soybean Producers, the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association, the Alabama Wheat and Feed Grain Producers and the Alabama Peanut Producer’s Association.

Tutorials for using the site can be found here.

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