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Crop Corner – Hybrid Selection with a Purpose!

February 05, 2016

It’s January, -10°C, and the 2016 planting season seems like its ages away. For most of us, the only time corn crosses our mind is when the corn stove needs to be filled. While you’re stuck inside waiting for the weather to warm up, start thinking about the hybrids you’ll be growing in 2016 and how best to manage them!

Factors including planting date, soil type, soil fertility, insect pressure and end-use should all influence your decision on the hybrid you choose for each farm. If you are no-tilling, make sure that you choose a hybrid with excellent early season vigour that will push out of the ground under cooler conditions. With new technologies that allow for later season management opportunities such as late nitrogen and fungicide application, growers must take into consideration more factors than ever when determining which corn hybrids to grow, where to grow them, and how best to manage them.

Research has shown that hybrid response to intensive management varies. Practices such as late nitrogen additions, fungicide application at tassel and increased plant populations have greater effects on yield in some hybrids than others. For growers, this means that if you are going to try to push yields by more intensive management, make sure you’ve chosen a hybrid with top-end yield potential that will respond to added inputs! Similarly, if you have a lower-producing farm where you are looking to minimize crop inputs, try growing a workhorse hybrid that will maximize yield under stressful conditions, without additional management.

Ontario yield data based on management practices will soon be available on GOCorn.net. Call your Clark Agri Service agronomist if you have any questions regarding specific hybrids in the Haldimand-Niagara region, or would like more information on the equipment we have available for in-season management!

This Crop Corner has been written by Michelle Baker, Sales Agronomist at Clark Agri Service.  Michelle can be reached by email mbaker@clarkagriservice.com  or by phone 289-244-3888