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Ohio corn yields range widely in performance trials

Agriculture.com Staff 12/10/2008 @ 9:19am

Summer drought and Hurricane Ike produced a mix of high and low yielding test sites in the Ohio State University Corn Performance Trials.

"Hybrid yields varied considerably across the state in 2008 and this certainly was reflected in the corn performance trials this year," says Ohio State University Extension agronomist Peter Thomison in a university report. "In the northwest region, yields averaged 159 and 156 bushels per acre in the early and late maturity test, respectively, in contrast to the southwest/west central region, where yields averaged 235 and 230 bushels per acre in the early and late maturity test, respectively."

Researchers tested over 240 hybrids representing 33 commercial brands in three Ohio regions. Three test sites were established in each region. Testing was also conducted at Coshocton, an area with a history of high gray leaf spot incidence.

The trials are designed to evaluate corn hybrids based on a variety of performance characteristics, such as yield potential, percent moisture, stalk lodging, emergence and test weights of the grain. The results help growers select hybrids that not only yield well, but can also withstand a variety of environmental factors and growing conditions.

"Growers need to look at as many locations as possible this year to get a good feel for hybrid performance. If they plan to make their hybrid decisions based on results of a test site near their farm or based on their own on-farm test strip tests, their data is unlikely to indicate which hybrids are most likely to perform best in 2009," Thomison says. "If a grower had an environment that was free of lodging and had good growing conditions, he may see a different hybrid ranking than a grower with fields that experienced severe stress."

The agronomist adds that choosing the best-performing corn hybrids is growing increasingly difficult as the turnover rate for hybrids entered into the trials climbs higher.

Summer drought and Hurricane Ike produced a mix of high and low yielding test sites in the Ohio State University Corn Performance Trials.

Traited hybrids, those with transgenic traits for Bt insect resistance and herbicide tolerance, dominated this year's corn performance trials with more than 90% of the entries being transgenic. In 2002, less than 15% of the hybrid entries were transgenic.

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