Louisiana Corn for Grain Hybrid Trials 2020

Paul Price, Waltman, William F., Stephenson, Daniel O., Fromme, Daniel, Buckley, Blair, Mathews, Marcie, Brown, Sebe, Purvis, Myra, Padgett, Guy B., Ezell, Dustin, Parvej, Md Rasel, Copes, Josh

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Introduction

The performance of corn hybrids is evaluated annually in official hybrid trials (OHTs) by LSU AgCenter researchers. The purpose of these trials is to provide Louisiana growers, seedsmen, county agents and consultants with unbiased performance data for commercial corn hybrids submitted for evaluation by private companies. Selection of superior hybrids that are well adapted for a given region is essential for maximizing yield and profit. In 2020, 53 corn hybrids were entered by commercial seed companies. Locations of these trials included the Dean Lee Research and Extension Center, Alexandria; Northeast Research Station, St. Joseph; and Macon Ridge Research Station, Winnsboro (Table 1).


Table 1. Agronomic milestones for corn hybrid trials by location, 2020.

Location Soil type Irrigation Row spacing Planting date Harvest date
Alexandria (AX) Coushatta silt loam Nonirrigated 38” 3/18/20 8/20/20
St. Joseph (SJ-sl) Commerce silt loam Furrow 40” 3/17/20 8/13/20
St. Joseph (SJ-c) Sharkey clay Furrow 40” 3/16/20 8/18/20
Winnsboro (WN) Gigger silt loam Furrow 40” 3/18/20 8/17/20

Suggestions for Selecting Hybrids

Hybrid selection is one of the most important decisions for producers, and there are many different hybrids available on the market. Soil conditions, irrigation practices and cultural practices vary among growers throughout the state; consequently, hybrid performance also varies based on soil type, irrigation, planting date, environmental conditions and location.

Yield is usually the most important trait considered by producers when selecting hybrids; however, maturity, stay-green, lodging, shuck cover, ear placement, disease and insect resistance also need to be considered. Yield data from multiple locations will offer clues as to hybrid performance consistency.

Hybrid maturity is rated using relative maturity (RM) or growing degree day (GDD) rating systems. These two methods are based on the number of days or degree days required for physiological maturity. Louisiana producers can grow early, mid-, and full-season hybrids, with 112-day to 121-day hybrids producing the best yields. Full-season hybrids do not consistently out-yield mid-season hybrids. It appears there is more variability in yield among hybrids within a given RM rating than there is between maturity groups.

Hybrids that stay green later into their maturity usually retain better stalk strength and have less lodging potential. Shuck cover is important for protecting the ear and kernels from weathering and fungi. When planted late during the recommended window, hybrids will grow taller because of higher day and night temperatures and resulting internode elongation. Therefore, ear placement will be higher when compared to earlier planting dates, which may increase lodging potential. Consider planting a hybrid that has a low ear placement late during the planting season.

Corn hybrids have different insect and herbicide traits conferred by biotechnology and should be chosen based on the best fit for your production system. More information regarding available transgenic traits for insect and weed control are available in the Insect Pest Management Guide and Suggested Chemical Weed Control Guide.

Select several hybrids that are consistently top performers over multiple locations or years within a region. Consistency over multiple environments is important because environmental conditions vary annually.

Procedures

The experimental design at each location was a randomized complete block design with four to five replications. Measured traits and rating scales are defined in Table 2. Analyses of variance and least significant differences (LSD) were calculated only if differences existed at the 90% confidence level. If differences were significant, an LSD at the 10% probability level was calculated. If the LSD (0.10) for yield in a trial is 10 bushels per acre, there is a 10% chance that two hybrids with a reported yield difference of 10 bushels per acre are genetically equal and a 90% probability they have differences in genetic potential in that particular environment. LSD values are influenced by how well soil fertility, stand establishment, plot length, harvest efficiency, and other variables are controlled and by the number of replications for each hybrid. The letters NS are used in the text and tables to indicate lack of significance (not significantly different) at the 10% probability level. The coefficient of variation (CV) reflects the magnitude of experimental error (random variation not accounted for by hybrids and replications) in relation to the trial mean. A high CV means that relative differences among hybrids were not consistent among replications, which reduces the precision of the test.


Table 2. Corn traits and rating scales used in the LSU AgCenter Official Hybrid Trials, 2020.

Trait Abbreviation Description
Yield YLD Grain yield, bu/a, adjusted to 15.5% moisture
Grain moisture GM Grain moisture at harvest (%)
Test weight TW Volume weight of grain (lb/bu)
Plant population PP Plant population (No./A)
Mid-silking date MS Silking date of 50% of plants, in days after planting (DAP)
Plant height PH Height from ground to the flag leaf (in)
Ear height EH Height from ground to where primary ear attaches to the plant (in)
Husk cover HC Visual rating of how well kernels are covered, 1=closed and 3=open husk
Lodging LO Lodging at harvest (%)
Northern corn leaf blight NCLB Northern corn leaf blight rating; 0=none, 9=severe
Southern rust SR Southern rust rating; 0=none, 9=severe

Yield data across locations for 2020 is summarized in Table 3. For individual locations, a summary of agronomic milestones is listed prior to the data (Tables 4-7). Contact information for participating seed companies is detailed in Table 8.


Dean Lee Research Research and Extension Center, Alexandria

  • Soil type: Coushatta silt loam
  • Soil pH: 8.0
  • Tillage: Conventional
  • Previous crop: Soybeans
  • Row width: 38"
  • Seeding rate: 36,000
  • Planting date: 3/18/2020
  • Irrigation: No
  • Pre-plant fertilizer: 0-60-60
  • Post-plant fertilizer: 200-0-0-13
  • Herbicide applications: Pre-emerge: Atrazine 4L + Medal II
  • Herbicide applications: Post-emerge: Atrazine 4L + Glyphosate
  • Harvest date: 8/20/2020
  • Harvested plot size: 2 rows by
  • 50 feet
  • Experimental design: RCBD
  • Replications: 5


Northeast Research Station, St. Joseph (silt loam soil)

  • Soil type: Commerce silt loam
  • Soil pH: 7.3
  • Tillage: Reduced
  • Previous crop: Cotton
  • Row width: 40"
  • Seeding rate: 36,000
  • Planting date: 3/16/2020
  • Irrigation: Yes
  • Pre-plant fertilizer: 3-13-20 (200 lb/A
  • Post-plant fertilizer: 250 units N
  • Herbicide applications: Burndown Cinch ATZ 45 oz + Gramaxone 22 Oz; Pre-emerge Roundup Powermax 1 qt/a + Atrazine 1 QT/a; Post-emerge Atrazine 1 Qt + Dual Magnum 1.3 pt + Roundup Powermax 22 oz/a
  • Harvest date: 8/18/2020
  • Harvested plot size: 2 rows by 32 feet
  • Experimental design: RCBD
  • Replications: 4


Northeast Research Station, St. Joseph (clay soil)

  • Soil type: Sharkey clay
  • Soil pH: 6
  • Tillage: Reduced
  • Previous crop: Cotton
  • Row width: 40"
  • Seeding rate: 36,000
  • Planting date: 3/17/2020
  • Irrigation: Yes
  • Pre-plant fertilizer: 3-13-20 (200 lb/A)
  • Post-plant fertilizer: 265 units N
  • Herbicide applications: Burndown Cinch ATZ 45 oz + Gramaxone 22 Oz; Pre-emerge Roundup Powermax 1 qt/a + Atrazine 1 QT/a; Post-emerge Atrazine 1 Qt + Dual Magnum 1.3 pt + Roundup Powermax 22 oz/a
  • Harvest date: 8/13/2020
  • Harvested plot size: 2 rows by
  • 32 feet
  • Experimental design: RCBD
  • Replications: 4


Macon Ridge Research Station, Winnsboro

  • Soil type: Gigger silt loam
  • Soil pH: 6.9
  • Tillage: Minimum
  • Previous crop: Soybean
  • Row width: 40"
  • Seeding rate: 36,000
  • Planting date: 3/18/2020
  • Irrigation: Yes
  • Pre-plant fertilizer: 50 lb P2O5/acre, 50 lb K2O/acre
  • Post-plant fertilizer: 220-0-0-20
  • Herbicide applications: Burndown (Round-up @ 32oz/A and 2,4-D @ 16oz/A); Pre-emerged (Atrazine @ 48oz/A and Dual @16oz/A); In-season (Atrazine @ 32oz/A and Round-up @ 32oz/A)
  • Harvest date: 8/17/2020
  • Harvested plot size: 2 rows by
  • 30 feet
  • Experimental design: RCBD
  • Replications: 4


12/2/2020 7:55:08 PM
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