Time to shift hybrid maturities
Kevin Black is GROWMARK's insect and plant disease technical manager.
Posted on: 5/12/2011 8:51:00 AM
Corn planting delays in many parts of the GROWMARK trade area have resulted in the inevitable question: Is it time to shift away from full-season hybrids?
The short answer is: No!
Most adapted hybrids can be planted into the first week of June without large loss of yield potential, or at least until the end of May in northern areas.
More yield potential will be lost by switching to earlier hybrids than by staying with adapted full-season hybrids. Switching to soybeans also would be considered premature and could upset crop rotation plans, run afoul of herbicide applications already made, and essentially waste nitrogen fertilizer that was applied to the affected acres.
For those individuals who initially intended to plant very full season hybrids, backing off to adapted full-season hybrids may be prudent.
However, it is important to remember that hybrids tend to shorten up their maturity with later planting. Most adapted hybrids should have adequate time to complete development, even with planting in mid- to late May. Conversely, late planting of early-maturing hybrids frequently leads to disappointing results due to pest and disease issues or problems related to timing of pollination.
The old “rule of thumb” in this case is that early hybrids should be planted early.
Another practical concern associated with trying to change to early-maturing hybrids is that the supply of choice genetics or seed sizes already may be sold out. This could leave you with second-choice hybrids. So, stay with the adapted full-season hybrids for now.
Kevin Black is GROWMARK’s insect and plant disease technical manager. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.