6 Recommendations When Choosing Corn Hybrids

University of Wisconsin agronomist Joe Lauer says don’t forget the basics when it comes to ordering seed corn. He stresses the need to “choose hybrids wisely by using comparative yield performance data.” Lauer offers these recommendations:

  1. Base any decision on how a hybrid performed in multiple locations. Your farm is not the same, and corn will not yield the same throughout a field and in every field, so make your decision on multiple yield trials. Give a preference to the trials nearest your farm. An important factor is to compare hybrids with similar maturities and what their moisture content is on the maturity date. If basing a decision on a single plot, even on your farm, measure factors other than yield, such as test weight, dry-down rate, grain quality, and ease of harvest.
  2. What criteria should be on your checklist? Separate your lists for grain and silage, even though insect and disease resistance will be on both, as will plant lodging and moisture for both grain and forage. Otherwise, check yield and grain quality if being harvested for grain, and check forage quality and forage moisture if being ensiled.
  3. Evaluate the consistency of performance in various hybrids by checking yields across a broad spectrum of environmental challenges. But just looking at the local results, they may not have replicated the drought stress that hurt the yield from that hybrid in the next state over.
  4. If trait options are making you dizzy, remember that traits do not increase yield, but only protect yield. If you need a trait that protects from a particular challenge, such as European corn borer, purchase that trait. If ECB has not shown up in your state for a decade, that trait may be superfluous. If you have a very bad rootworm problem, a Bt gene to fight rootworms may be a trait you want to have. Some companies have promoted bundling all traits “just in case,” but Lauer says futures years will bring unbundling and more a la carte ordering.
  5. Transgenic traits will rank at the top and bottom of every trial, says Lauer and it may not be yield performing. He says consider past performance of individual hybrids over a wide range of locations and climatic conditions.
  6. Price is a significant issue, since some transgenic hybrids will cost $250 per bag or more, so compare the difference between any two hybrids. If you have to pay much more for one hybrid, it may be hard for it to produce a yield that will cover the higher cost. Lauer offers a seed cost calculator.

(Source: Stu Ellis, University to Illinois)

Leave a Reply

Latest News
EquipmentDeere Announces Soucy Track Distribution Alliance
August 28, 2015
John Deere announces an alliance with Soucy Track to sell and distribute products through the John Deere dealer channel. “This Read More
FertilizerFall-Applied Phosphorus: A Rooted Investment
August 28, 2015
As commodity prices decrease and input prices continue to rise, farmers are seeking more efficient strategies for meeting a high Read More
Monsanto Sign
Crop InputsWhat’s Next For Monsanto, Syngenta?
August 28, 2015
After dropping its $47 billion bid to take over Swiss agribusiness firm Syngenta, Monsanto may be turning its focus to Read More
Golden Harvest Corn stalks
Crop InputsMonsanto: Syngenta Not The Only Horse In Crop Protectio…
August 28, 2015
Monsanto Co, having ditched an audacious $46 billion (£30 billion) offer for Syngenta AG, may downshift to a humbler strategy Read More
ManagementConsolidation hits and a miss; And a look at China’s ch…
August 28, 2015
As Monsanto suspends its pursuit of Syngenta, consolidation news at the retail and distribution level heats up. CropLife magazine’s Executive Read More
Corn Field
MicronutrientsHuma Gro Introduces New Boron Liquid Nutrient Formulati…
August 28, 2015
BORO-MAX, a new boron (B) 10% liquid nutrient formulation, has been added to the Huma Gro product line. This new Read More
Crop InputsNFU: Monsanto Decision To Withdraw Syngenta Bid ‘…
August 26, 2015
National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson said the organization was very pleased by the news that Monsanto has withdrawn Read More
Crop InputsMonsanto Withdraws Bid For Syngenta
August 26, 2015
Monsanto Co. abandoned its latest effort to acquire Syngenta AG, the world’s top maker of pesticides, after a sweetened bid Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsSyngenta Comments On Monsanto Announcement
August 26, 2015
The Board of Syngenta confirms that it received a verbal proposal from Monsanto to acquire the company at a price Read More
Case IH Patriot 2250 Sprayer
EquipmentHigh-powered Case IH Patriot 2250 Sprayer Pushes Throug…
August 26, 2015
Engineered with more muscle, the new 660-gallon-capacity Patriot 2250 sprayer features best-in-class horsepower, along with the fuel efficiency that comes Read More
Crop InputsLand ‘O Lakes, United Suppliers Finalize Merger
August 24, 2015
According to a press release on August 24, owners of United Suppliers, Inc. and members of Land O’Lakes, Inc. “have Read More
TMX-2050 In-Cab Display Launch Run Screen
Eric SfiligojPrecision Ag Could Shine In Increased Spotlight On Agri…
August 24, 2015
By any measure, 2015 is turning into one of the most challenging years agriculture has ever experienced. All throughout good Read More
ManagementCrop Conditions In Minnesota and Traveling Time
August 21, 2015
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiilgoj discuss the crop outlook from a field trip to Minnesota and upcoming travel plans. Read More
HerbicidesREUTERS: Anti-GMO ‘Scientist’ Calls For New…
August 20, 2015
EDITORS NOTE: We feel that it is important to note that there are those that believe one of the lead Read More
Rendering of Syngenta Seedcare Institute expansion
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Announces Seedcare Application And Resource Ce…
August 19, 2015
Syngenta recently announced the Seedcare Application and Resource Center, a collaborative new website designed exclusively for Syngenta Seedcare customers to Read More
Winter Wheat
Industry NewsArysta LifeScience Announces Two New Regional Sales Man…
August 19, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced Steve Vining and Phil Reding have each accepted new positions as Regional Sales Managers. Read More
West Central Cooperative, Jefferson, IA
CropLife 100Iowa Cooperatives To Explore Unification
August 19, 2015
The boards of directors at two of Iowa’s leading farmer-owned cooperatives yesterday signed a letter of intent to study the Read More
Golden Harvest Corn healthy leaves
Industry NewsAligned Ag Distributors Names Vice President, Crop Prot…
August 18, 2015
Aligned Ag Distributors LLC have appointed Warren Hragyil to VP Crop Protection. Hragyil comes to Aligned Ag Distributors LLC with Read More