We were able to get in to harvest the Columbia County Corn Hybrid Trial in between rain showers last week. I’m really thankful for the effort of the team from 83 Farms, as well as all the help from our seed industry, including Monsanto, Pioneer, and Croplan Genetics. This was a late planted field of corn in comparison to our typical March planting window. This field was planted on April 8th, and that shows with variation in yield levels among hybrids. The majority of the farm was planted to Dekalb 6697, which has been a good hybrid locally. Therefore, I included that hybrid as a “running check” four times through the plot. The average yield of these four replications of DK 6697 was 217 dry bushels per acre. This was consistent with yield levels measured across the farm.
In corn production, we are always looking for that next big thing. What one thing can we change that will increase our income without increasing costs. Often that is selection of a newly released hybrid. However, selecting the appropriate corn hybrid for the conditions takes into account many factors including: land quality, irrigation management, fertilizer applications, seeding rates and date, etc. Most farms have a couple reliable go-to hybrids that seem best adapted to their management strategies. One challenge is finding a hybrid that will return higher yields with no additional expenses or require different management practices. Sometimes we are looking for a hybrid that will make similar yields, but may offer advantages such as improved disease tolerance, improved standability, faster drydown, etc. These are factors that might save money. Therefore, we also look at factors other than yield in making future seed recommendations and buying decisions.
The hybrid trial showed that the farm is making good decisions in the current choice of corn hybrids. The trial also showed there may be a few other available hybrids to consider which might put a few more bushels in the combine using the same management practices. Making good seed purchasing decisions helps to put more money in the farmer’s pocket.
Thanks to 83 Farms, including the guys in the video and all those behind the scenes that know the hard work to bring this crop to harvest. Thanks to our supporters in the seed industry for the help to gather this information which helps farmers in North Florida. “Success is about creating benefit for all and enjoying the process. If you focus on this, and adopt this definition, success is yours. -Kelly Kim