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Yields surprising for Indiana corn variety trials

Agriculture.com Staff 12/04/2008 @ 12:02pm

Purdue University recently released the full results of 2008 variety trials for corn and soybean varieties tested in Indiana.

"As with a lot of people, this year we had challenges, but the yields are much better than anticipated," says Phil DeVillez, director of Purdue's Crop Performance Program, in a university report.

DeVillez and his team tested 240 corn hybrids at 12 sites and about 200 soybean hybrids at nine sites. Full yield data is available here.

"The best thing a grower can do when contemplating varieties, is to compare this year's data to last year's data," he says. "Always look at multi-year data.

"Something that was on top last year could be in the middle of the pack or even on the bottom this year, in terms of performance. It all depends on the planting date, growing season and the rain patterns."

DeVillez says the past two years have been very different. If a variety is at the top in terms of performance both last year and this year, then you can feel confident about it being a good variety for the area.

"We learned that good yields can still be achieved with late planting," he adds. "We replanted three of our locations (Butlerville, Shelburn and Vincennes) and probably should have replanted a fourth, but we just didn't have enough time.

"We planted our plot here in West Lafayette May 29, which is a good month behind normal, so we didn't expect yields to be very good on that plot. Our last planting date was June 12."

DeVillez says the plot at the Purdue Agronomy Farm yielded more than 200 bushels of corn an acre. He attributes the surprisingly good yields to September's warm weather, as well as improved genetics and the insect resistance with which they've been bred.

"If you look back, September was really warm and that helped us catch up in terms of growing degree days," he says. "Because the crop was planted late and was still maturing, it worked out quite well, other than putting us behind for harvest.

"We didn't start harvest until October 1. Typically, we start sometime during the first week of September."

DeVillez says the data is very representative of the state this year.

Purdue University recently released the full results of 2008 variety trials for corn and soybean varieties tested in Indiana.

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