How To Best Use This Report When Planning Your Seed Corn Purchases

The PA Commerical grain and silage hybrid corn tests report provides information for independent and unbiased evaluation of commercial corn hybrids available in Pennsylvania.
How To Best Use This Report When Planning Your Seed Corn Purchases - Articles


One of the first factors to be considered in using this report is hybrid maturity. The hybrids listed in the tables are always ranked by grain moisture. The hybrids with the lowest grain or silage moisture are on the top of the tables with higher moisture hybrids below. Grain or silage moisture is a good indicator of hybrid maturity--those with lower moisture are generally adapted to shorter season environments. Identify hybrids in the list that you know are adapted to your area, and then evaluate new hybrids that have similar moisture contents. Selecting hybrids based on yield alone may result in a hybrid that is too late for your farm. There is considerable range in maturity in hybrids entered in each maturity zone.

Once you have identified the hybrids maturity range that is appropriate, compare the yields of the hybrids that have been evaluated. A simple way to scan for higher yielding hybrids is to use the percent-of check yield column. This column shows the relative performance of individual hybrids compared to five commonly grown check hybrids that were in the test. Hybrids with percent-of-check values above 100 were those with higher yields than average of the five checks. Then use the bushels/acre column to assess the actual yield differences among hybrids.

Yield performance of hybrids is variable and is best predicted by using data that is averaged over multiple locations, so it is best to use the mean yield over all sites as your guide to hybrid performance. Use the individual location hybrid means to assess how consistent, or stable, the hybrid was across locations. Some hybrids may do well at high yielding sites but not at low yielding sites, for example. Also, you might want to look at the individual location data if you were concerned about hybrid performance under a specific environmental condition at that site--like disease pressure or early maturity.

Once you have identified some prospective hybrids, consider their standability from the % erect column and any disease rating data that may have been collected. Also, it is important then to check with a seed company representative about other characteristics of the hybrid that may be important for your operation.

Once you have gone through this process, you should be able to select hybrids that have above average performance. This is an important part of profitable corn production, since there is a wide range in the performance of corn hybrids, as these reports demonstrate.