The 3rd Wonder

Happy Friday to everyone, I hope this week has treated you well.  It’s time to present the “3rd Wonder of the Corn World”, drum roll please…..hybrid selection.

Hybrid selection is probably the most important decision farmers make. Most don’t realize the large difference in yield potential among elite commercial hybrids. Arrays of commercial hybrids, grown under conditions where the other wonders are presumed to be optimized, typically exhibit a 50-bushel range in grain yield.  Also, nitrogen use also interacts strongly with the third wonder of the corn yield world, hybrid selection. There’s considerable interest in improving the efficiency of N use with genetics or biotechnology.

You may be asking yourself, as a grower how do I select the best genetics for my crops?  I’ll give you some basics on how to choose the correct hybrid for you farming situation.

1.  Yield!!  Choosing a hybrid that is high yielding is the first oppurtunity a grower has in maximizing yield potential. Stresses that occur during the season may reduce the yield potential of that particular hybrid. Therefore, it is crucial to select a high-yielding hybrid that has the potential to do extremely well in your particular field.

2. Yield/Moisture ratio.  What this means is choose a hybrid that fits your relative maturity zone.  Some longer day hybrids have a higher yield potential then shorter day maturities, but have wet grain will negate any benefit in planting it.  Find a hybrid that is well suited to your geography.

3.  Standiblity.  A grower should choose a hybrid that can with stand some adverse growing conditions.  Over the past couple years this has been very evident in our area.  With some major wind events these past couple years we are able to sort out what has strong stalks and roots that we want.  Remember, yields, on average, are reduced by almost 1/2 bushel per acre for every 1 percent increase in lodging.

4.  Insect and disease.  When looking at these issues growers need to be aware of what are the concerns in their area.  Are you in an area with heavy pressure from root worm,?  Has there been Goss’ Wilt in your area?  These are just a couple of the concerns when looking at insects and disease.  Use that information to select high yielding hybrids that also carry the specific traits that you need for you area.

5.  GMO traits.  As we move forward there are more and more great new genetic traits coming on the market.  Be on the outlook for corn in the future with new rootworm traits, N efficiency traits, drought tolerance, and many others.  These new traits will have an impact on yield, and should be something to consider on your farm.

Know you may ask how do I choose something that fits all these conditions and will work on my farm?  There is only one really good way to do that, and that is start studying plot data from around the region.  Most land-grant universities conduct well-designed, statistically sound, replicated, and randomized hybrid trials. Using current data from university research is especially important because of the short life associated with today’s hybrids. Many university agronomists affirm that a producer’s chance of having a high-yielding hybrid significantly increases if they select a hybrid that performs well across multiple sites and/or years versus one that simply does well on their farm or in a trial somewhere the previous year. The strength of using university results comes from the ability to compare the yield potential of numerous hybrids in multiple locations and multiple seasons.

That being said, Seeds 2000 still has some very high yielding hybrids with stong agronomics for our area.  We do are best to test our hybrids with the Universities, all the way down to the grower level assuring you that these hybrids will do great on your farm.

Next week the “4th” wonder.  If you know what it is and want a chance at a prize, be the first to email me at with the correct answer.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.