Hybrid selection is one of the most important decisions a farmer can make
Ken Ferrie, Illinois-based agronomist with Crop-Tech Consulting, believes some growers spend more time picking out the accessories on their new pickup than they do determining which hybrid would work best in their fields.
Ferrie made the comments during his presentation “Learning Hybrid Characteristics” during the recent 2022 Great Ontario Yield Tour in Woodstock, Ontario in early September.
He believes the top two predicters of corn yield are water management and hybrid selection. “It's one of the two most important decisions you can make that separates your operations from others,” says Ferrie.
Picking a hybrid for the field that you're going to plant in is something he believes is vitally important. When picking a hybrid, Ferrie says it is important to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the hybrid and to match those up to the strengths and weaknesses of the field that you will be working with.
One characteristic to look at is height. If you look through your lineup, and every plant you like is the same height, same tassel, same leaf structure – you may have just determined some of the characteristics you are looking for.
To mitigate risk, farmers need to plant short season hybrid corn first, and long season corn last so that all the plants are not pollinating in the same week.
Ferrie also advised farmers to factor in the big three: sunlight, water, and nutrients. You want to try to capture as much light as possible.
Farmers lose water in the field through evaporation off the ground and transpiration off the top, so water management is essential.
Finally, nutrient efficiency is also important to consider when creating your crop plans.
With those things in mind, Ferrie advised farmers to conduct proper research on the hybrids they are considering. “During the winter Farmers can say, well, here's my hybrid, and here is what these other hybrids look like compared to my hybrid.”
Watch the full 2022 Great Ontario Yield Tour presentation on learning hybrid characteristics.Click here to see more...