Editor’s Note October 2012

Timely Tips For 2013
Southern Hybrid Selection

By Carroll Smith

A successful Southern corn crop starts with the seed you plant. With that in mind, it’s important to put a lot of thought into hybrid selection for the upcoming growing season. Following are some timely tips from Southern universities.

Mississippi State Extension Service says, “The corn hybrids noted in the ‘Corn Short List’ have produced superior grain yields in Mississippi, according to results published in the MSU Corn for Grain Variety Trials and surrounding states. Suggestions are separated into dryland and irrigated culture. Environmental variability in a given year or location may substantially affect hybrid performance. [In addition to yield], evaluate maturity and stalk strength. Select several hybrids with complementary characteristics to spread risk and minimize loss due to an unpredictable problem to which one hybrid may be susceptible.”

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System makes these suggestions: “Do not select your hybrids based on yield ability alone. Hybrids that have good yielding ability can vary considerably in other important traits such as lodging resistance, maturity and resistance to disease. Yielding ability is a complex trait and is influenced by many environmental factors. It is not unusual for the performance of a particular hybrid to vary considerably from year to year depending on weather conditions and disease and insect incidence. Thus, the use of data from a single year may be misleading.

“Detailed information on yields and other variety performance traits is available in the annual Corn Hybrid Performance report published by the Department of Agronomy and Soils, Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn University.”

The University of Arkansas Extension Service notes that yield is important, but maturity, staygreen, lodging, shuck cover, ear placement, disease and insect resistance also play a role.

“In Arkansas, 112- to 120-day maturity hybrids usually produce the highest yields. Hybrids that stay green later into their maturity usually retain better stalk strength with less lodging potential. Consider shuck cover because good ear coverage reduces the introduction of soil fungi, thus less potential for kernel damage. Ear placement can be important in corn planted later in the season.”

With these helpful tips in mind, please take time to review the partial listing of hybrid offerings in this month’s Corn South Southern Lineup For 2013, beginning on page 4.


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