Top corn yields are more than luck


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio growers are keeping their fingers crossed for a repeat performance of last year’s corn crop.

But with wise hybrid selections, and a little cooperation from Mother Nature, you can get high yields through more than just by chance.

Record yields. Record-high yields ranged throughout the state in 2003.

The 2003 Ohio State University Extension Corn Performance Test shows those yields came from hybrids well established in Ohio as well as from ones making their first appearance.

Growers can use that information, as well as data from previous years, to select hybrids that yield well and can also withstand a variety of environmental factors and growing conditions.

Ohio State’s performance trials reflected state-average yields, said Peter Thomison, an Ohio State University Extension agronomist.

“Overall, I’d say this may be the best year in terms of consistently receiving high yields across multiple locations through the state.”

Test numbers. Nearly 240 corn hybrids representing 37 commercial brands were evaluated in the test.

Plots are located in three regions: southwestern/west central, northwestern, and northeastern/north central, along with sites in Piketon and Coshocton.

Entries were planted in either an early- or a full-season maturity trial, and were tested for yield potential, percent moisture, lodging, emergence, final stand and test weights of the grain.

Change from 2002. “Based on the results, the yields were a real flip-flop from last year,” said Thomison.

State average yields in 2002 only reached as high as 88 bushels per acre. For 2003’s early-maturing varieties, average yields ranged from 163 bushels per acre to 205 bushels per acre.

Full-season varieties averaged 152 bushels per acre to 204 bushels per acre. Some varieties yielded a whopping 234 to 242 bushels per acre.

“Even hybrids that were planted in late May, specifically in northwestern Ohio, achieved outstanding yields, averaging 160-180 bushels per acre,” said Thomison.

Many variables. Thomison said that when choosing hybrids, growers should evaluate them based on their performance across a range of environmental conditions, and over a several-year time period.

“A lot of the hybrids did exceedingly well this year, but looking back at the season, there was very little stress. Those hybrids may not perform as well under stressful situations,” said Thomison.

Related Web sites:

2003 Ohio Corn Performance Test


Corn Hybrids in Indiana, 2001-2003


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