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Quick hybrid selection checklist

After 2012, selecting the right hybrids isn’t as automatic as you thought. Use this simple checklist to make sure you cover all the bases.

✓ Soil typepe: Is it sandy, loam or clay? What about organic matter and pH? Crusting? Is there gravel?

✓ Drainage: Is there surface or tile drainage? Is it uniform? Is the field rolling, flat or bottoms?

✓ Tillage: Will you use conventional tillage, no-till or some combination?

✓ Dry and store: Do you have a dryer or must you field-dry grain?

✓ Row width: Hybrids with more population tolerance are suited to 20-inch, 15-inch and twin rows.

✓ Previous crop: Certain hybrids aren’t recommended for corn after corn.

✓ Previous herbicide: Did you use conventional herbicides, glyphosate or glufosinate?

✓ 2013 herbicides: Which ones will you use this year?

✓ Insects and diseases: Which ones are prevalent in the field?

✓ Intended use: Are you growing corn for grain, silage, ethanol, waxy or food-grade uses?

✓ GMO hybrids: Is it European Union-approved, or must you channel grain?

✓ Desired traits: Which traits do you need?

✓ Foliar fungicides: Which diseases are important? Are disease-resistant hybrids available?

✓ Hybrid maturity: Pick what’s right for your area

✓ Drought, heat tolerance: Are drought-tolerant hybrids available?

✓ Seedling vigor: How fast does it get out of the ground?

✓ Root system: What does the hybrid look like below ground?

✓ Brace roots: How much root strength does it have above ground?

✓ Stalk strength: How does this relate to standability?

✓ Leaf type: Is it upright or floppy? It relates to light interception.

✓ Plant height: If you plant two hybrids together, are heights similar?

✓ Ear height: Is it reasonable?

✓ Tassel size: How many branches does it have?

✓ Pollen shed: How many growing degree days from planting to pollen shed?

✓ Silk emergence: How many GDDs to silk emergence?

✓ Ear type: Does it produce girthy or flex ears?

✓ Stay-green: How long will it stay healthy?

✓ Pick or shell: How will you harvest?

✓ Ear attachment: Will the stalk hold on to ears?

✓ Test weight: How does the hybrid stack up normally?

✓ Ease of harvest: Will the combine operator say it’s easy to shell?

✓ Consistency: Will it perform under different conditions?

✓ Yield and moisture: Does it have a good yield-to-moisture ratio?

✓ Hybrid type: Is it known as a racehorse or workhorse?

✓ Soil adaptability: Can it adapt to different soil types?

This article published in the November, 2012 edition of INDIANA PRAIRIE FARMER.

All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2012.