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Corn Hybrids Rise to Challenge

Results from University of Missouri's 2006 corn and other crop performance tests now available online.

Jerilyn Johnson, Editor, Missouri Ruralist

November 22, 2006

2 Min Read

Mother Nature was a bit stingy with moisture across much of Missouri during the 2006 growing season, but growing-degree days were above normal. These conditions produced some eye-opening yields in the Missouri 2006 Corn Performance Tests.

As you might expect, irrigated corn produced consistently high yields in the trials. At the Columbia site, Pioneer 33A87 rolled out a 293.5 bushel per acre yield to claim the title of highest-yielding hybrid. Planted on April 14, the corn hybrids at this location received 16.8 inches of rainfall during the growing season, and an additional 8.8 inches of irrigation was provided. The average yield for all hybrids at the irrigated Columbia location was 242.5 bushels.

"In southern Missouri, a large percentage of the corn acres are irrigated," says Howard Mason, MU crop variety testing research specialist. "This boosts yields year after year which, in turn, pays for the added investment and upkeep of an irrigation system in most years." Corn yields for the last three years in the Missouri performance tests are consistent under irrigation, mostly in the 225 bushels per acre range. "But without irrigation, they fluctuate from 225 bushels per acre in 2004 down to about 150 bushels per acre in 2005," Mason points out.

Dryland yields were impressive at some sites as well, despite constant weather worries. A NuTech NT-4213 YGCB hybrid weighed in with 246.9 bushel per acre at the LaGrange non-irrigated site. That topped all hybrids at that location, where yields averaged 206.5 bushels per acre.

This report is a contribution of the Division of Plant Science, University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. The work was supported by fees provided by companies submitting hybrids for evaluation.

The tests are conducted under the most uniform conditions possible. Small plots are used to reduce the chance of soil and climatic variations occurring between one hybrid plot and another. Results obtained should aid the individual grower in judging the relative merits of many of the commercial varieties available in Missouri today, Mason says.

Summary reports of the 2006 MU corn and grain sorghum performance tests are featured in the December issue of Missouri Ruralist. The 2006 MU soybean performance test summary will be published in the January 2007 issue.

For complete data and a description of the MU crop performance test program, visit the Web site: agebb.missouri.edu/cropperf/vartest. Reports can be obtained in CD version from the MU agronomy plant sciences unit office at (573) 882-2307, or visit your local Extension office for a free hard copy of the report.

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