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Monday, November 23, 2015

Trial results and criteria for corn hybrid selection

by Jeff Coulter, Extension Corn Agronomist

corn hybrid trial
Few agronomic decisions for corn are as important as hybrid selection. Results from the 2015 University of Minnesota corn grain performance trials are available at:

When selecting hybrids, it is best to choose those that perform well over multiple locations in a region. Consistent performance over multiple locations with different soil and weather conditions is critical because next year’s growing conditions are uncertain.

Consider trial results from multiple sources, including universities, grower associations, seed companies, and on-farm strip trials. Click on the links below for results from other corn trials:

Criteria for selecting corn hybrids for grain production

  • Identify an acceptable maturity range based on the growing degree days (GDDs) required for a hybrid to reach maturity. Selected hybrids should reach maturity at least 10 days before the first average freeze to allow time for grain dry-down and to provide a buffer against a cool year or late planting. Information on GDDs available for corn production for various locations and planting dates, and on the relationship between GDDs and corn maturity, is available at: Selecting corn hybrids for grain production.
  • Plant multiple hybrids of varying maturity to spread risk and widen the harvest interval.
  • Very full-season hybrids do not consistently out-yield mid-season hybrids in Minnesota. There is more variability in grain yield among hybrids within a given relative maturity group than there is between maturity groups.
  • Select hybrids according to agronomic traits including suitability for a given crop rotation, emergence, root strength, standability, and tolerance to diseases, drought, insect pests, and herbicides. Standability is a key trait if higher planting rates are used and if there are dry late-season conditions.

Additional information on corn production from University of Minnesota Extension is available at:

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