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Frequent Contributor

corn hybrid test plot

All corn hybrids don’t respond to stress the same.  We just combined a 24-hybrid test plot in Sothern Iowa. Growing conditions were far from perfect.

  1. Corn fallowing soybeans that had cereal rye drilled in late October under extreme drought conditions. after harvest.
  2. Planted on a 52-CSR farm the had low fertility but had 180# of N, 75# of P, and 75# of K applied in the fall after the ground was below 50 degrees.
  3. The rye didn’t come up until the end of November, so it had very little fall growth.
  4. We still had snow on the ground the first week of April, so the rye didn’t come out of dormancy until mid-April. But with the late snow moisture conditions had improved to only moderately dry.
  5. By April 20th, the rye was just fully out of dormancy, but we decided to kiss crop insurance good by and plant in the green growing rye and terminate it after the corn germinated.
  6. The test plot was 4 30-inch rows ¼ mile long (6.75 acres total)
  7. That seemed to work much better than ISU would suggest. Planted 32.5K had a good stand then the bugs took over and eliminated the 10% non- GMO triple stack plants. OK 30,000 still is not a bad stand.
  8. Corn was looking good up until June 11 when the hail came through and took the leaves off at the V10 growth stage and then the rain shut off. We ended the season back at moderate drought.
  9. After the corn reached black line we received first 5 inches of rain in one day and then another 7 inches over the next 20 days.


As you can see not the greatest conditions for top yields or stock health. Anyway, on to test plot results.


Truly eye-opening overall plot average 211 bu. wet at an average moisture of 16.9% and 207 dry.  Not bad for a poor Southern-Iowa farm in and out of moderate drought conditions.


One of the corn numbers that produced top yields last year fell flat on its face at 170 bushels the plot bottom. Three others in the 180-bushel range. (Note all four the same brand I’m not sure if that is important.)  Three numbers in the 190’s, seven numbers from 200 to 210, four from 211 to 220, four from 221 to 230, and two numbers over 231 (both Croplan)


What do I take away from this?  Under stress conditions the wrong hybrid and number could easily be a make or break decision. Consider a 65-bushel deference between the best and worst in the plot at the cash market price of $3.20 that’s $208 per acre. That’s more than the rent on a 52-CSR farm.

2 Replies
Senior Contributor

Re: corn hybrid test plot

Thanks for the info.  Were the two hybrids over 231 new hybrids or have they been around awhile?  Not bad for yields.  I thought southern Iowa was burning up this Summer.  Rained again today and more rain on the way.   

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Frequent Contributor

Re: corn hybrid test plot

We did burn up 350 DSD's spent most of July in the mid 90's and no rain. Top two numbers Croplan 5678 at 251.2 wet (20.7%) 235.8 dry and Croplan 5370 at 238.6 wet (18%) and 231.5 dry. 

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