If you were going to pick out a year of the last 28 where you would expect that someone could post a yield of over 330 bushels per acre, the '08 season wouldn't likely be your first choice. If it is, you obviously got missed by the June flood, heavy May rains that delayed planting, the August dry-out that parched some fields, the remnants of Hurricane Ike that mangled fields, especially in southern Indiana, or the Ike flood in northwest Indiana. And along the way, somehow, even though the entire season ran one to two weeks behind due to below-normal temperatures most of the season, the crop found a way to mature in a reasonable manner.
The 300 bushel per acre plot planted by Beck's Hybrids, Atlanta, Ind., may have missed out on some of those calamites, but it was prone to plenty of moisture at times, plus the slow moving growing season. Yet a hybrid in this year's plot yielded 332.4 bushels per acre, more than Beck's have ever pulled off the plot from a single hybrid since the effort began 28 years ago.
Beck's first broke the 300-bushel barrier in '94, then topped it last year at 302.9. However, nothing has ever equaled this year's performance.
This year's plot was planted April 18, once an early planting date for central Indiana, but now fairly common, as long as the weather and soil conditions cooperate, which they didn't for many people this spring. One replication of the three in the plot was on 8th year continuous corn, sprayed with a fungicide. The second and third reps were corn following soybeans. The big producer, Beck's 6733HXRR, broke the 300 bushel per acre mark in each of the three replications, officials note.
What's perhaps equally impressive, all eight hybrids included in the project plot averaged 292.7 bushels per acre, more than 30 bushels per acre more than the previous record average for all hybrids included in one year.
Scott Beck, vice-president of the nation's largest family-owned seed company, is in charge of the 300-bushel plot, and all other practical farm research plots conducted by the seed company. He credits early planting, a seeding rate of 36,000 seeds per acre, good stand establishment and adequate moisture without flooding, plus minimal disease pressure, for making the record-breaking yields possible. Headline was applied and showed a sizable advantage averaged over all hybrids, even on the corn after soybean replications.
Learn more, including information about a special discount for those who order the record-breaking hybrid by December 10, at: www.beckshybrids.com.