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sw363535
Honored Advisor

drought tollerance

Finally read an article in the JD magazine, if you can call it an article, might have been another advertisement.  Hard to tell in the Furrow.  

Article was on the promise of drought tolerant genetics in Corn seed.  I have plugged this thought in a couple of times.  But wouldn't 2012 have been the perfect year fot these new genetic advancement ideas to have sky rocketed into the forfront.  I have been patiently reading and waiting for the "proof in the pudding" phase.  

Or is this so evident that all it takes is the "drought tolerant" label to be present.  Our testing has been very slow to be impressive, with two hard years behind us the plant health issue seems proven, the yield results were not impressive------so far.

 

Anyone get some solid education on this issue??

 

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13 Replies
Nebrfarmr
Veteran Advisor

Re: drought tollerance

I know of a test plot that was planted in an out of the way field last spring, my brother's cows were in a pasture rented nearby.   In the spring, they put up signs, in preparation of having a field day there.  The signs said something like 'Brand XXX drought tolerant corn, dryland plot # XXX'.   By sometime in July, they took down the sign that said 'dryland plot', and replaced it with a sign that said Brand XXX corn, variety YYY" and hauled out gated pipes along the field. About a week after it tasseled in the hottest, driest part of the summer, they even took that sign down, and cancelled their field day.


I know the guy that farms next to it.  When he asked the owner about it, he was told that the agronimist told him drought toerant didn't necessarily mean that it took all that much less water to raise a crop, as much as it meant that the corn could go through longer spells without rain, with less yeild loss, compared to regular corn.

FWIW, I was told the 'control' corn next to it, just straight hybrid corn, with no traits other than being Roundup ready, so they could spray the whole field the same, out-yielded it.   However, he thought it was the other hybrids heat tolerance during pollenation, that made the difference.  The drought tolerant corn actually 'looked' healthier, but it just didn't set the kernels on the ear.

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Faust100F
Advisor

Re: drought tollerance

I rode to South Dakota with a Syngenta sales rep who handled only the Big, Big operators in the U.S. and Mexico a few years ago to look at a big farm out there.  On the way to western south dakota, i brought up the subject about buying more land in NW South Dakota west of the Missouri River and turning it into a corn farm with drouth tolerant hybrids were developed.  He pulled from his briefcase, and showed me the tests on the varieties they had selected that would yield well in dry weather situations.

 

 At that time Syngenta was way ahead of the other companies, I was surprised how well the drouth hybrids they were working on had been doing.   He spent about three hours of that trip, indoctrinating me on drouth hybrids, the problems yet to be overcome and how drouth tolerance would reclaim many parts of the Great Plains.

 

I have talked to those who planted the Hot drouth numbers last year and they were not impressd, remember we had subsoil moisture last year, I think this year coming up would be a great test year for the drouth hybrids.  The only thing I know is that Syngenta is far ahead of the other nimrods attempting to develop a drouth resistant corn plant.  If they get it worked it out, the Great Plains may be a good place to pick up a few acres.  Adios Amigos. John

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Shaggy98
Senior Advisor

Re: drought tolerance

Seed companies undoubtedly pump millions of dollars into their seed genetic programs.  Corn is a water hog and it always will be compared to other crops.  Drought tolerant varieties today may be better than they have been in the past, but drought tolerance is not drought resistance.  Moisture is a basic ingredient of photosynthesis and we cannot modify science to over come that.

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smokeyjay
Advisor

Re: drought tollerance

In my neck of the woods, milo used to be the row crop of choice but recently, it has not done well. It can wait for a rain but it cannot wait more than a few weeks. Timing is everything. Super early planted corn, if subsoil moisture is present, beats milo. Even beans when planted in mid May through June 10 has done better. It catches late September rains after milo runs out of time to head and flower and sets pods. There is an early frost risk but it has done relatively well, if one considers ten bu. beans vs. three bu. milo. That said, drought resistance has improved corn's ability to make a crop where earlier varieties would mot have made anything.
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Shaggy98
Senior Advisor

Re: drought tolerance

I agree smoke.  It all comes down to management.  Last year my dryland corn was zeroed out by crop adjuster and it was planted on April 11 into 57* soils.  The milo adjacent to it wasn't much better.  It was planted on May 15 into 68* soils and yielded 4B/A.

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rswfarms
Senior Contributor

Re: drought tolerance

Shaggy- when you refer to 57 dirt, are yiu refering to the Iowa CSR Scale and also the CSR1 or CSR2 Scale? As you know Iowa has changed the scale from CSR1 to CSR2 now. Thanks.

Shaggy98
Senior Advisor

Re: drought tolerance

I was referring to soil temperatures.

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rswfarms
Senior Contributor

Re: drought tolerance

Thanks, it sounded like a CSR Number. LOL

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: drought tollerance

There are a couple of principles of genetic selection, natural or man-directed, that often go overlooked.

 

 One is that selecting for one trait can make for a sacrifice or at least a tradeoff in another.  

The second is that descriptions of selected traits may confuse or misdirect management decisions. 

 

Research on a given selection is only as good as the people conducting it, too.  One has to wonder if the failed test described on this thread will be included in overall stats on the variety, or round filed, and only more typical, less challenging, conditions and yields included.

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