NEWS

Corn hybrid performance trials mark 50-year milestone

WSF

This year marks the 50th year of corn hybrid performance evaluation conducted by the Wisconsin Agronomy Department, the Wisconsin Crop Improvement Association, and the seed industry.

Over the past 50 years, 18,773 corn hybrids have been evaluated at various locations in Wisconsin.

According to University of Wisconsin CALS Agronomy professor Joe Lauer, the first Wisconsin public corn performance trials were conducted by Elwood Brickbauer in 1973. Trials were grown in southern Wisconsin at Janesville, Lancaster and Platteville. In northern Wisconsin, trials were established at Antigo, Ashland, Hancock, Marshfield, Spooner, and Waupaca.

The average yield of the first trials was 121 bu/acre. Over the past 50 years, 18,773 hybrids have been evaluated at various locations in Wisconsin.

In 1995, the corn silage hybrid evaluation program was initiated. Lauer says hybrid selection is a key decision made by farmers and historically is important for delivering new technologies, pest resistance and increased yield and profitability to the farm-gate. 

The purpose of this program is to provide unbiased performance comparisons of hybrid seed corn for both grain and silage available in Wisconsin.  

2022 growing season

The 2022 growing season at most southern sites was similar to the 30-year normal for Growing Degree Unit (GDU) accumulation and precipitation. In northern Wisconsin, GDU accumulation and precipitation was less than normal.

For most of the state, planting progress was similar to the average with 50% of the acreage planted by May 10. An exception was northeast Wisconsin which had somewhat delayed planting.

Most trial plots were established by early May. Stand establishment was good to excellent at all locations. Ear size was larger than normal.

Tar spot, Phyllachora maydis, increased throughout the state and was significant in southern Wisconsin, however, in most cases it was too late to affect yield.

Good growing conditions continued into late-fall with a killing frost occurring in late October. Silage and grain moisture was higher than normal. Little plant lodging occurred at most trial sites. Little disease and insect pressure were observed within most trials.

Results for the 2022 growing season can be found at: http://corn.agronomy.wisc.edu/HT/2022/2022Text.aspx.