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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


New Tests Added to Corn Performance Trials

December 21, 2005

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The scope of this year's Ohio State University Ohio Corn Performance Trials has been broadened to accommodate increasing interest in other production practices.


The test not only faithfully provides growers grain yield and composition, stalk lodging, emergence, and plant stand results for early and full-season maturity hybrids, but it also gives information on Roundup Ready corn, corn grown for silage and organic corn.

"Many of these added features are new. Interest has been growing in Ohio for such information, so we wanted to provide growers with hybrids which are available on the market that perform well and can accommodate our growing conditions," said Peter Thomison, an Ohio State University Extension agronomist.

Over 200 corn hybrids representing 37 commercial brands were evaluated in three regions: southwestern/west central, northwestern and north central/northeastern. Results of the trials can be found at

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, stalk lodging, emergence and test weights of the grain. The results help growers select hybrids that not only yield well, but can also withstand a variety of environmental factors and growing conditions.

Yields for early and full-season maturity hybrids varied, depending on the weather conditions throughout the growing season. Early and full-season hybrids grown in the northwestern and north central/northeastern regions, where growing conditions were more favorable, especially in terms of rainfall, excelled in yields (averaging 188-192 bushels per acre). Hybrids tested throughout the southwestern/west central region, where drought conditions were more severe, yielded less (averaging 167-171 bushels per acre).

"Expectations were mixed because we knew how much the corn crop was stressed in certain areas, but we were surprised how well the crop actually performed," said Thomison, who holds a partial research appointment with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. "Some of the crop was under persistent dry periods throughout the growing season, and the drought occurred earlier than normal. Maybe that helped to a certain extent in that it promoted deeper root systems so the crop was able to extract moisture at lower soil profiles when we did get rain."

Thomison noted that some hybrids evaluated suffered from severe stalk lodging problems.

"Growers have an opportunity to look at hybrid performance related to stalk quality and use that information wisely based on performance at various locations, " said Thomison. "For example, I'd be concerned about selecting a hybrid if its lodging was above average in the southwestern locations, even if its lodging was negligible in the northwestern region."

One of the several new features of the test was a corn silage evaluation. Ohio State University teamed with Michigan State University to test hybrids grown at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center Northwestern Branch near Hoytville that would be suitable for silage.

Silage results present the percent dry matter of each hybrid plus green weight and dry weight as tons per acre. Other data includes percent stand, the percentage of in vitro digestible dry matter, acid detergent fiber, neutral detergent fiber, crude protein and starch.

Roundup Ready corn was also part of the Ohio Corn Performance Trials. Fourteen hybrids treated with post emergence glyphosate herbicide applications were evaluated.

"There was quite a bit of variation in the results," said Thomison, "which means that growers should be focusing on the agronomics before they focus on the Roundup Ready trait. It's the yields that will make or break the crop, not the Roundup Ready resistance."

Organic corn hybrids were also evaluated in the Ohio Corn Performance Test. Complete results of the new evaluation features can be found at


Candace Pollock
Peter Thomison