COLUMBUS, Ohio — Near-perfect growing conditions in 2004 has landed another year of exceptional results for corn hybrids evaluated in the Ohio State University Ohio Corn Performance Test.
Peter Thomison, an Ohio State Extension agronomist, said that the consecutive year of high yields and outstanding production performance, while impressive to look at, may make it difficult for growers to choose the best hybrids for more varied growing conditions.
"We always tell growers to use more than one year's worth of data from multiple sites to select their hybrids, because invariably we always have a poor growing season that shows how a hybrid performs across a range of environmental conditions," said Thomison. "But this is the second year of exceptional test results. It's getting harder to determine how a hybrid performs under stress conditions with the favorable growing conditions we've had. Many hybrids have only been in the test one or two years."
The purpose of the Ohio Corn Performance Test is to evaluate corn hybrids based on a variety of performance characteristics, such as yield potential, percent moisture, lodging, emergence and test weights of the grain. The results help growers select the best hybrids that not only yield well, but can also withstand a variety of environmental factors and growing conditions.
In the test, 200 corn hybrids (about a third of that being genetically modified varieties) representing 34 commercial brands were evaluated over three regions: southwestern/west central, northwestern and north central/northeastern.
Early maturing hybrids averaged yields anywhere from 179 bushels per acre to 203 bushels per acre. Late season hybrids averaged yields from 179 bushels per acre to 202 bushels per acre.
"You hear the saying, "Location, location, location." Well, for corn growers, it's "weather, weather, weather." To achieve high yields this consistently just goes to show what you can do with favorable growing conditions, the right hybrid and the right management practices," said Thomison.
The hybrids also excelled with regard to such traits as lodging and stand quality — with an average of no more than six percent of the plants lodged at any given location.
"Because of the outstanding results we had again this year, we are encouraging growers to select hybrids that have performed above average across at least two years worth of data," said Thomison.
Results of the Ohio Corn Performance Test are available by logging on to http://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/corn2004.