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CSU Crops Testing

Colorado State University Extension logo on left side with Crops Testing Logo on right side

Welcome to the Official Colorado Variety Testing Program!

Crop Variety Performance Trials are conducted by Colorado State University’s Crops Testing Program to provide unbiased and reliable information to Colorado crop producers to help them make better variety decisions. Each crop in our program has a page where the most recent trial information can be found. Technical reports are available for each crop page. Use the navigation menu above to reach all information about a specific crop.

Recent Crop Publications

Current Research

In addition to our crop variety performance trials, the Crops Testing Program conducts relevant and cooperative research on common crops grown in eastern Colorado. This research is done with funding from crop commodity groups, private seed companies, and other grants.

Winter Wheat
We are currently testing three forage wheat varieties and one winter triticale variety to compare forage yield and quality for wheat farmers who are interested in producing forage wheat or triticale. The trials are being conducted at five dryland wheat sites near Akron, Burlington, Julesburg, Orchard, and Yuma. This research is being funded by the Colorado Wheat Research Foundation. Look for first-year trial results in Aug. of 2022.

Grain Sorghum

Sorghum Hybrid, Seeding Rate, Planting Date Study (Year 2)

Planting dates for grain sorghum tend to be later than corn due to corn being better adapted to emergence in lower soil temperatures. We want to determine if there is a yield penalty due to later plantings, and if so, to quantify the potential yield loss. Grain sorghum producers also tend to use a wide range of seeding rates depending on their region and soil moisture. The objective of this study is to determine if there are any interactions among the effects of seeding rate, plant date, and type of hybrid on grain yield, test weight, plant tillering, and days to flowering.

Trials are conducted at Akron and Sheridan Lake, using two adapted early maturing hybrids (DKS28-05 and M54GR24) at three seeding rates (20,000, 40,000 and 60,000 seeds/acre), with two planting dates of mid-late May and mid-late June.

Sorghum Microbiological Testing (Year 2)

Microbiological products include seed treatments and soil/foliar applied products. These products are supposed to increase root and plant structures, increase yield, and improve plant nutrient uptake. Our objective is to determine if there is an increase in yield and/or test weight from the addition of microbiological products to the plant or soil. In 2022, we will be testing five products across three dryland sites.

Our Team

Sally Jones-Diamond

Sally is the Director of the Crops Testing Program in the Dept. of Soil and Crop Sciences. She first joined the program in 2010 as a graduate research assistant, and then as a Research Agronomist after finishing graduate school in 2012. She is responsible for developing and maintaining a strong, innovative, research program in crop production management relevant to the needs of producers in Colorado. She delivers and participates in crop production extension programs and publishes research trial results in addition to other relevant extension content.

The Crops Testing Program currently conducts on-farm and small-plot variety trials for grain and forage sorghums, winter wheat, pinto beans, cowpea, sunflower (confection and oil), corn, and winter canola. We also conduct a range of agronomy trials and test new plant, or soil applied products coming onto the market for use by farmers producing the above-mentioned crops.

Sally earned her M.S. degree in Soil and Crop Sciences in 2012 from CSU where she studied agronomic factors that affect grain sorghum yield and maturity in Northeast Colorado. She obtained her B.S. in Soil and Crop Sciences from CSU in 2009. Sally grew up in eastern Colorado and decided to study agronomy after working as a research intern for a seed company. She works out of the Washington County Extension Office in Akron, CO. Sally is a Certified Crop Advisor.

Sally Jones-Diamond
Director – Crops Testing Program
Dept. of Soil and Crop Sciences
181 Birch Ave
Akron, CO 80720
(970) 214-4611

Ed Asfeld 
Ed Asfeld photo

Ed Asfeld joined CSU’s Crops Testing Program as a Research Associate in 2015. He plants and harvests crop variety trials across eastern Colorado, including wheat, corn, sunflower, grain sorghum, and oilseeds. He also repairs, builds, and maintains equipment and vehicles that are used in the program. As the principal field person for the Crops Testing Program, Ed works with graduate students, Cooperative Extension agents, Research Station personnel, and staff at CSU and other universities. He also collaborates with area farmers,  government representatives, and crop commodity groups.

Ed grew up on a farm and graduated from high school in a small western Minnesota town. He graduated from North Dakota State University in 1990. After graduation he worked in Wisconsin for a year as a crop consultant, and then farmed full-time while doing custom combining until 2002. Ed was a retail agronomist in Wilmot, South Dakota until 2010, when he and his family moved to Colorado and he worked at Sterling as a manager and retail agronomist. Ed has been a Certified Crop Advisor since 2004.

Ed Asfeld
Research Associate
Central Great Plains Research Station
40335 Co. Rd. GG
Akron, CO 80720
(970) 554-0980

Candace Talbert
Candace Talbert

Candace joined Colorado State University Crops Testing Program as a Research Associate in February 2022.

She handles variety trial entries and works with fellow researchers, seed company representatives, and commodity groups. She also sets up trials, helps with planting and harvest, manages harvest data, and publishes trial results and annual crop reports.

Candace earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology with a minor in Conservation of Natural Resources from Kansas State University. She has worked for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in southwest Kansas designing terracing, diversions, and tailwater pits, and assisted farmers and ranchers with the Conservation Reserve Program seed mix development and planting, as well as wildlife habitat planning. In 2011, Candace trained as a microbiologist with the Department of Interior, Bureau of Reclamation Ecological Research Laboratory for a position with the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, Parks and Wildlife Division in the Aquatic Animal Health Laboratory. There she worked in the Invasive Species, Bacteriology, Virology, and Whirling Disease laboratories. She works out of the Washington County Extension Office in Akron, Colorado.

Candace Talbert
Research Associate
Department of Soil and Crop Sciences
181 Birch Ave.
Akron, CO 80720
(970) 554-1626

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