Recent cool, wet weather has some growers across the Corn Belt anxiously waiting to get into their fields to plant their 2009 corn crop. Planting delays can limit the number of growing days for the crop, prompting questions about switching to earlier hybrids. Is it time to make the switch?
Not yet, says Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business. Long-term research studies by Pioneer and several universities show that adapted, full-season corn hybrids usually offer the best yield and profit advantage when planting delays are not extreme.
When wet weather significantly delays fieldwork and planting, hybrid maturity switches can become an issue. However, Pioneer experts say hybrid changes should be based on expected grower returns including yield, drying costs and test weight discounts.
Switching to earlier-maturing hybrids should be used under extreme late-plant or replant situations. But changing to earlier products too soon may result in serious yield and profit penalties. Full-season hybrids typically make full use of a growing season. Even when planted late, these hybrids often outperform early-maturing hybrids, adjusting their growth and development to reach maturity in a shortened growing season.
Long-term studies by both Pioneer and universities, which included a range of hybrid maturities across planting dates extending from April through June, have shown a clear yield and profit advantage for full-season hybrids. For additional information and research results on hybrid switches for particular areas of the Corn Belt, click here to view a Pioneer Crop Insights.
(Source: Pioneer Hi-Bred)