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FIRST Newsletter | March 2024

31-Mar-2023 | Issue 30 |


  • 2024 Season Update
  • NEW South Dakota FIRST Managers
  • Soybean SCN Resistance source update and search added

2024 Season Pre-Planting

FIRST is busy this time of year organizing the seed products that companies have selected for the 2024 performance trials. As we near planting time, there are 815 hybrids and 510 varieties participating, with over 60 brands represented. We are pleased to welcome new brands into the testing program: AgriSolutions AgriSoy, Connect, and Fortus (see nearby). We are very grateful to all of the Sponsors participating in 2024 FIRST Trials.

With the consolidation of regional Bayer brands and the uncertainty with Xtend Flex soybean programs in the industry, this season posed more uncertainty for FIRST and seed companies than most.

With fewer soybean entries and newer geographies offered, several regions had to be combined from split maturity to all-season tests. These included soybean tests in Iowa, Minnesota, and corn tests in the Red River (MN/ND) Valley (RRV). With a late start on expanded areas to the program including RRV and Kansas, we believe seed companies will have a better opportunity to participate in those areas next year. The Kansas Northwest region was consolidated with Kansas Central for corn and soybeans, and both are planned for testing again in 2025.


See 2024 FIRST Trials Sponsors
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2024 FIRST New Brands

Above -- New brands in the 2024 FIRST soybean trials are AgriSoy, Connect, and Fortus. See all 2024 Sponsor brands here:

Planting should kick off soon in Missouri and FIRST plots are flagged in our host farmers' fields for early planting areas and selected for most of the program. We are excited to see new corn traits in the tests including Vorceed Enlist and more VT4P products. Expect updates on Facebook about traits, locations, and more in April.

2023 FIRST Summer Meeting Group

Above - Most FIRST research managers have family businesses to operate the trials. (Above) Iowa manager Randy Meinsma's seed room with his father Ron Meinsma and son Bryce sorting packeted seed into planting order for FIRST plots.

Happy Easter!

Wishing everyone a Happy Easter!

FIRST Information 2024

FIRST is an independent research organization working directly with farmers, not a university, and not a start-up company with investment funds for marketing. So, the reporting and seed selection information FIRST provides needs champions - we need YOU! Support FIRST and get the word out that top-notch, multi-location, multi-year trial data is available to the farming community for FREE at We are grateful for media partners and welcome the opportunity to discuss FIRST trials, contact or call (801) 997-0260 for more information.

Meet NEW South Dakota FIRST Managers: Matt Eich and Payden Peterson

FIRST Manager Matt Eich

FIRST Managers Matt Eich (above) and Payden Peterson (below).

FIRST Manager Payden Peterson

Matt Eich is a new FIRST manager for the South Dakota Northeast regions. He has been a Crop Consultant with Centrol since 2008, and has been conducting contract research since 2021. Prior to Centrol, Matt worked at a co-op as a sales agronomist and Christensen Farms as a nutrient management specialist.  

Eich's interest in research started in college with an internship at Novartis, however it took a few years to start a new department within Centrol conducting small plot contract research. He is heavily involved with the National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants (NAICC), serving on the Board of Directors as well as serving as President in 2019. Eich remains involved with NAICC as Co-Chair of the Government Affairs Committee.  Matt and His family reside in rural Volga, and raise sheep and goats for their children's 4-H projects.  

FIRST's new manager for the South Dakota southeast regions is Payden Peterson. He grew up on a family farm in southern Minnesota. Peterson graduated with an Associates degree in business management from South Central College in Mankato, MN in 2012 and worked for a local farmer after graduation. Peterson has been working with Mark Tollefson on South Dakota FIRST trials since the spring of 2017. He is staying busy farming with his uncle, and running Peterson Seed Testing. In Peterson's free time, he enjoys golfing, skiing, fishing, and watching Minnesota sports.

FIRST Updates Soybean Cyst Nematode Reporting

2024 Soybean Cyst Nematode Reporting Update

NEW in 2024 - FIRST is reporting sources of soybean cyst nematode (SCN) resistance for soybean varieties in the 2024 tests. FIRST's soybean product-specific report page has a NEW SCN resistance filter as well. All soybean product reports for sponsored varieties in the 2024 tests have been updated.

Note that prior to 2024, varieties' SCN values were generally ratings provided by the seed company. For those varieties, check seed product literature and resources that directly rate SCN resistance, like these university reports in Michigan, Minnesota, and Iowa,

Please check out FIRST's resistance source reporting and look for more details in the 2024 Program Directory, out this summer.

Try the SCN Filter on Soybean Products Reports Webpage:
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Farmers' Independent Research of Seed Technologies (FIRST)

(801) 997-0260

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