DuPont Pioneer conducted a comparative corn yield performance study using a system of aggressive soil fertility and pest management practices with a more conventional low-input system during 2012 that showed the intensive management and appropriately matched seed had an advantage.

Study Description

Planting Date:

May 12, 2012


Johnston, Iowa

Plot Layout:

Four 10 x 17.4 ft plots per entry

Pioneer Hybrids:

P1420HR (HX1,LL,RR2), P1498HR (HX1,LL,RR2)


32,000 and 38,000 plants/acre

Intensive Management System: Fertility program consisted of 180 lbs/acre N preplant + 50 lb/acre sidedress N applied at V6 growth stage, 120 lbs/acre P2O5, 30 lbs/acre sulfur, 3 lbs/acre zinc applied as MicroEssentials SZ; Seed Treatment was PPST Poncho 1250 + Votivo; and Foliar fungicide/insecticide application was Aproach Prima (6.8 oz/acre) + Prevathon (20 oz/acre)

Conventional Management System : Fertility program: 180 lbs/acre N preplant and seed treatment: PPST 250


  • The Johnston farm experienced significant drought and heat stress in 2012. This study received a limited amount of irrigation (approximately 3 inches) on all plots, but not enough to eliminate drought stress as a yield-limiting factor.
  • The two hybrids compared in the study included an Optimum AQUAmax hybrid (P1498HR) and a comparative hybrid of similar maturity (P1420HR) with lower drought tolerance. The average yield of the Optimum AQUAmax hybrid was 27 bu/acre greater than that of the comparative hybrid.
  • Average yield of both hybrids was slightly greater at 38,000 plants/acre than at 32,000 plants/acre.
  • Intensive management practices increased average yield 33 bu/acre with P1420HR and 9 bu/acre with P1498HR.
  • The greatest overall average yield (216.5 bu/acre) was achieved with P1498HR at 38,000 plants/acre in the intensive management system. P1420HR at 32,000 plants/acre in the conventional system had the lowest yield (165.5 bu/acre).

Graphs pulled from website:

HX1 = Contains the Herculex I Insect Protection trait for resistance to corn borer, LL = LibertyLink gene, RR2 = Roundup Ready Corn 2 gene,  PPST = Pioneer Premium Seed Treatment.