Fall is the time to choose corn hybrids.
Agronomy Bulletin 55 ─ Selecting Hybrids
The optimum time to select corn hybrids for the next season is often in the fall, shortly after harvest is complete and your observations from harvest are still fresh in your mind or can be reviewed in your records. Additionally, early ordering often can help ensure availability of hybrids and seed sizes that best fit your farming practices.
Factors to Consider
- Crop plan for next season
- Including rotation
- Performance of hybrids within your maturity zone
- Trait packages for optimum insect protection and herbicide needs
- Local test plot data
- Product availability
- Early order offers
- Evaluate hybrids. Evaluate the current season’s hybrids for performance. Keep in mind that while performance is measured by yield, agronomic features and trait packages play an important role in the selection process, as well, because both can have a significant impact on the final level of performance.
- Develop a crop plan for next year. Develop or review next season’s crop plan for rotation and soil type considerations. Match hybrids that performed best this season to fields with similar characteristics for the upcoming season. Pay special attention to the yield potential of each field and carefully position hybrids that perform best in each environment. Take into consideration the insect pressure on your farm and select hybrids with the appropriate trait package. Remember to select the appropriate percentage of refuge hybrids to correspond with any traited hybrids for compliance with refuge requirements. Dow AgroSciences Refuge Advanced® powered by SmartStax® makes planning for a refuge easier by blending SmartStax hybrids with non-insect-traited refuge hybrids in a single bag — ensuring compliance on the acres where it is planted in the Corn Belt.
- Evaluate test plots. New hybrids are continually being introduced and evaluated to improve yield potential and agronomic performance. Review local test plot results for guidance on current and new hybrid performance in your area. When evaluating hybrids, look for consistency in agronomic performance and yield performance. Often times, the temptation is to pick the No.1 yielding hybrid in a single plot. A more appropriate strategy would be to evaluate several plots in your area with similar management practices to see where hybrids rank in overall performance. Select new hybrids that perform better than your current hybrid after consulting a trusted agronomic adviser regarding your needs.
- Select hybrids. After evaluating performance from this season, your crop plan for next season, trait and agronomic product needs, and local and regional test plot data, select hybrids that have a greater ability to perform best on your farm. Select multiple hybrids of varying maturities within your maturity zone to spread risk and widen the harvest window.
The key to a successful growing season is advanced preparation. Early hybrid selection and ordering helps to give the best hybrid selection and maximize the yield potential on your farm. For more information, contact your local Mycogen Seeds customer agronomist or trusted agronomic adviser.