If there was a garden spot for growing corn in Missouri in 2019, it would be at Bill Lloyd’s farm near Canton. Despite a wet year, Lloyd’s corn yields reached 321 bushels per acre, topping the University of Missouri Variety Testing Program.
“I did not expect that field to do as well as it did,” says Jay Nichols, a senior research specialist for the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. Nichols manages the MU Variety Testing Program.
After Nichols’ crew planted the plot in Lewis County, like many areas of the state, the field received plenty of rain.
“We went up and looked at it, and it looked like there was nitrogen deficiency in the field," he says. "But the corn rebounded from it.” Nichols adds it is the one spot where water availability may have boosted yield.
The hybrid Midland 770PR DG topped the north region MU Variety Testing Program with 321.1 bushels. But the Canton location had other corn hybrids, such as Pioneer P1197AM at 305 bushels, Nutech Seed 5FB-1111AM at 302 bushels, and both FS InVISION FS 6595V RIB and AgVenture AV8714AM 229 at about 300 bushels.
But Canton was not the only location with strong yields this year. The Truxton location in central Missouri also posted 300 bushels per acre with Nutech Seed 5FB-2213AM.
Right behind it at the Henrietta location was LG Seeds LG5643VT2RIB with 290 bushels.
Late planting created problems for many plots, Nichols says. For corn, sites such as Adrian's irrigated plot were not planted until the middle of June. He says results across the state varied because, like farmers, the university planting crew could not get into fields.
“Unfortunately, we lost several locations because of weather,” Nichols says. Numbers of corn prevented planting acres were greatest in Holt, Atchison, Carroll, Mississippi and St. Charles counties.
The percentage of corn-intended acres that were prevented was greatest in Ste. Genevieve (74%), St. Louis (73%), Mississippi (62%), St. Charles (56%) and Holt (54%) counties.
Harvest also was delayed and so were the results.
Still, Nichols says the corn data is solid. “It is a good year to look at how hybrids perform under heavy rainfall conditions,” he says.
He recommends farmers look at multiple years of data to analyze hybrid performance and not base decisions on only one year. However, he notes that the past few years in Missouri have been full of weather extremes.
“Here around the office we plan for a normal year, but then ask what is a 'normal year' in Missouri?” he says. “It seems to be either feast or famine, drought or flooding.”
Click through the slideshow to see the Top 10 corn hybrids from the MU Variety Testing Program in your region. For more corn hybrid details, visit the MU Variety Testing Program website.