Hybrid selection balances genetics, risk management

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Corn growers establish their maximum yield potential for the upcoming growing season by selecting the optimum corn hybrids for their local conditions. Steve Butzen, DuPont Pioneer agronomy information manager, says crop management decisions should focus on maximizing or protecting the genetic potential of hybrids to produce high yields of marketable grain or silage.

Weather and genetic potential are the dominant factors in determining yield. 

“The challenge corn growers face is to mitigate risk by choosing hybrids bred for resistance or tolerance to expected environmental and pest pressures,” Butzen says.

To assist customers in this process, hybrids are rated for their ability to withstand the most prevalent risk and stress factors.  Agronomic traits rated by Pioneer scientists include stress emergence, stalk strength, root strength, drought tolerance, brittle snap resistance and resistance to diseases and insects.  

Choosing a diverse lineup of locally adapted hybrids that vary in maturity and agronomic strengths is an excellent strategy to help manage weather- and pest-related risks. 

Pioneer sales professionals can help growers balance hybrid selection for maximum yield with locally relevant agronomic traits using the latest data, products and technology and tailoring the selections to fit the needs for each field.  The best decisions are based on local, multi-year performance data from varied sources, including universities, Pioneer and on-farm strip trials.


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