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Three key considerations for corn seed selection

When planning next year’s seed decisions, it’s important to consider local growing environments and challenges. Get tips for selecting the right seed.

December 1, 2023

4 Min Read
3 key considerations for corn seed selection
Submitted by Pioneer

This season brought more variable growing conditions and higher disease pressure in corn acres across the U.S. As farmers start planning for next year, it’s important to consider local growing environments when selecting seed. With a focus on yield, protection and flexibility, here are three key considerations for making the best corn seed decisions for 2024:

1. Tackle Tar Spot

Tar spot made a substantial westward expansion in 2023, with its presence confirmed in 10 out of the 12 Corn Belt states. As it continues to expand each year, it is critical farmers proactively manage the disease.  

Selecting a tar spot-tolerant hybrid is the first line of defense against the disease. In 2022, Pioneer® brand corn products showed a 5.9 bushel-per-acre advantage in areas of high tar spot pressure in over 12,000 comparisons and 718 locations.1 Pioneer is the first to offer farmers research-verified tar spot scores, making them the sole seed brand providing farmers with the confidence they need in the tar spot hybrids they are planting.

Seed trait ratings are a good tool to measure trait performance and help farmers manage risk. It is important to understand what the ratings mean and how they are reached. Continue reading to see how Pioneer gives farmers true disease numbers they can trust.

Pioneer is continually conducting research trials on tar spot to deliver exclusive products that maximize yield potential in every growing condition.

2. Consider Above- and Below-ground Protection

Every year, millions of corn acres are at risk for corn rootworm (CRW) damage. Although pressure varies from field to field, farmers should consider taking steps to protect their individual acres. While there are various protection methods against CRW, starting with the seed provides the best foundation for CRW protection.

Pioneer® brand Qrome® products not only provide superior yield and agronomic performance, but they also offer protection against CRW and other above- and below-ground insect threats. Last year, Qrome products outshined competitors by delivering an impressive 8.5 bushel-per-acre yield advantage.2

3. Don’t Underestimate Drought

This year, many farmers across the Corn Belt experienced drought stress. Creating a strategy to minimize risk associated with drought can help protect yield when soil moisture cannot keep up with water demand.

The extent of yield loss during a drought is largely determined by the stage of growth the crop is in and the ability of the corn hybrid to withstand drought stress. Selecting a corn hybrid that performs well in both water-limited and optimal growing conditions can help protect yield.

In 2022, Pioneer® brand Optimum® AQUAmax® products averaged a 5.1 bushel-per-acre yield advantage than competitors over all growing environments.3 Optimum AQUAmax hybrids are rigorously tested in local environments, and their efficient root systems capture deep soil moisture to utilize every drop of water available to the crop.

Pioneer’s improved drought characterization and understanding of stress tolerance exhibited in AQUAmax products help ensure farmers can trust the hybrids they select.

With these three key considerations in mind, talk to your local Pioneer representative or visit Pioneer.com to select the right seed for your operation.

1Product performance data is based on the average of comparisons made in the United States through 11/09/22. Comparisons are against all competitors and within a +/- 3 CRM of the competitive brand. Competitive products are products other than those marketed and/or sold by a member of the Corteva Agriscience group of companies.

2Qrome product performance data is based on the average of comparisons made in the United States through 11/11/22. Comparisons are against all competitors, segment matched, and within a +/- 3 CRM of the competitive brand. Competitive products are products other than those marketed and/or sold by a member of the Corteva Agriscience group of companies.

32022 performance data is based on an average of comparisons made in the United States through 11/09/22. Comparisons are against all competitors and within a +/- 3 CRM of the competitive brand. Competitive products are products other than those marketed and/or sold by a member of the Corteva Agriscience group of companies.

Q (Qrome®) - Contains a single-bag integrated refuge solution for above- and below-ground insects. The major component contains the Agrisure® RW trait, the Bt trait, and the Herculex® XTRA genes. In EPA-designated cotton growing counties, a 20% separate corn borer refuge must be planted with Qrome products.  

Qrome® products are approved for cultivation in the U.S. and Canada. They have also received approval in a number of importing countries, most recently China. For additional information about the status of regulatory authorizations, visit http://www.biotradestatus.com/  

Agrisure® is a registered trademark of, and used under license from, a Syngenta Group Company. Agrisure® technology incorporated into these seeds is commercialized under a license from Syngenta Crop Protection AG. Roundup Ready® is a registered trademark used under license from Monsanto Company. SmartStax® multi-event technology developed by Corteva Agriscience and Monsanto. ®SmartStax and the SmartStax Logo are registered trademarks of Bayer Group. Liberty®, LibertyLink® and the Water Droplet Design are trademarks of BASF.  

AQ – Optimum® AQUAmax® product. Product performance in water-limited environments is variable and depends on many factors, such as the severity and timing of moisture deficiency, heat stress, soil type, management practices and environmental stress, as well as disease and pest pressures. All products may exhibit reduced yield under water and heat stress. Individual results may vary.

Pioneer® brand products are provided subject to the terms and conditions of purchase which are part of the labeling and purchase documents. ™ ® Trademarks of Corteva Agriscience and its affiliated companies. © 2023 Corteva.

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