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Develop a checklist to select hybrids for 2016

Develop a checklist to select hybrids for 2016
How many of these checklist items can your hybrid choices meet?

So how do you go about selecting the best hybrids for your farm? First make a check list of things that are important for your farm and then select hybrids on a field by field basis using the following criteria:

1. Soil type: Sandy, loam, clay, organic matter content, pH, does it crust easily?

2. Performance consistency to varying environments

3. Drainage: Surface or tile, variable or uniform, flat, rolling or river bottoms

4. Soil adaptability: This is especially important for farms with variable soils

5. No-till or conventional tillage, or some combination of the two?

6. Dryer availability: Or will grain have to dry in the field?

Evaluate the checklist- Dave Nanda visits fields during the season to see how they are meeting requirements of his checklist he suggests using to select hybrids.

7. Row width – 12, 15, 20, 30 inch or twin rows. Can hybrids with population tolerance be used? Are your trying twin-row, 30 inch rows, or maybe the new twin-row, 20 inch row concept?

8. Previous crop: Certain hybrids are not recommended for corn after corn

9. Previous herbicide used: Conventional, glyphosate, Liberty or other post products – which were applied? Which residual herbicides were applied, at what rate and when?

10. Herbicide to be used in '16: Conventional, glyphosate, Liberty or residual herbicides?

11. Insects or diseases prevalent in the area: Which are typically the most troublesome?

12. Crop intended use: Silage, grain, ethanol, waxy, white, non-GMO market, EU-approved GMO or will the grain have to be channeled? Ask all these questions.

13. If a GMO hybrid, which herbicide is to be used and which insects are targeted?

14. Foliar fungicides: Which diseases are important in your area? Are disease-resistant hybrids available for your area?

15. Hybrid maturity suitable for your area: Should you pick a range of maturities?

This is an impressive list, but it's only half of the recommended items Nanda says you should consider when selecting a hybrid. Here's the other half.

Selecting a hybrid is much more complicated than just picking the highest yielding hybrid you have heard about in coffee shop talk.

Related: Put thought into picking right hybrids for most profitability next year

Nanda is a consultant for Seed Consultants, Inc. He writes from Indianapolis.

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