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.