Tips in Selecting the Best Corn Hybrid - Anambra Indigenous Youth Farmers Multi-purpose Cooperative Limited
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Tips in Selecting the Best Corn Hybrid

Written By Anambra Farmers on Wednesday, 26 September 2012 | 19:34

A farmer has to spend time evaluating the standard of his previous corn crops and think of possible ways to improve and maximize harvest next season. The following are some helpful tips in selecting your corn hybrid:
Check yield persistence across locations and over several years. Stability in yield is extremely important in choosing hybrids since the environment is more significant than specific management practices. For sure, this year’s growing season won’t be exactly like last year. Such seasonal differences will really surprise growers who rely a whole lot on limited observations. However, in deciding on a hybrid, take note that possession of any particular trait, such as huge ears, many kernel rows, deep kernels, prolificacy, or upright leaves will not ensure high yields. Instead, try to find stability in performance across surroundings.
Know your hybrid’s maturity. Should you planted late in the dry season, select an early-maturing hybrid and that means you could avoid the rains through the harvesting and drying period. With full season hybrids, physiological maturity or “black layer” formation is going to be late resulting in inadequate kernel maturation, wet grains (high moisture), and challenging and costly post-harvest environment with the onset of the wet period. Generally, full season hybrids (>110 days) typically outyield early maturing ones. However, recently developed short maturing hybrids can produce the same yield as the full period types. It is best therefore to have a look at your chosen hybrid’s maturity page from brochures, flyers, and even from agronomists assigned in your area.
Take advantage of new genetics. It has always been established that new elite genetics can outperform the old ones. Current hybrids in the market are more tolerant to ailments, high density planting, and possibly drought.
Use hybrids with very good agronomics. By these we mean very good tolerance to various environmental stresses such as diseases, insect pests, and robust winds. Likewise critical is the standability or the flexibility of the roots and stalks to help withstand high winds. High incidence of lodging will surely slow down harvest and lower yield in both quantity as well as quality. Things to check for might be thick stalk rind (genetic stalk durability plant height), ear placement, as well as resistance to stalk diseases.
Grow only high-quality seeds with exceptional emergence potential. Make sure to obtain your seeds from companies that shoot for excellent seed quality and after-sales customer support.
Know you target market. Taller, leafy hybrids can be an ideal choice for the silage marketplace while those targeting feed millers should depend upon hybrids with good protein quantities. For processing, oil and starch content is going to be important. In Mindanao, white corn grits generally command an improved price than yellow grains possesses good consumer base. Hence, take note of the kind of market you would like and adjust your hybrid options accordingly.
Talk to your local Leading representative about performance data along with selection criteria. Because weather conditions are unpredictable the reliable method to select hybrids is to take into account performance (from company trials) this past year and this year over a wide range of environments and locations. Don’t rely too heavily on on farm strip tests or on only one trial location because it cannot predict hybrid performance in different conditions. On-farm trials however they can be handy in getting certain traits evaluated including harvestability (ease of harvesting). feed quality, disease resistance, and accommodations tolerance.
Additional information can also be obtained from your agronomist regarding the requirement for insect resistance (corn) and fresh weed management options (glyphosate-tolerant corn) in your area depending on what time with the year.
You can also consult for other minor considerations before you purchase. These may include certain management interactions with all your hybrid corn from plant population, tillage, soil fertility, crop rotator, etc.
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