D. R. Hicks, T.R. Hoverstad, and J.L. Gunsolus
Dept. of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, University of Minnesota, recently reported their analysis of data from the Minnesota Corn Performance tests on the effect of new corn traits on yield.

"Corn yields have continued to go up and many give credit to the new corn traits for these yield increases," they said. "We sorted data from the southern and central zones of the 2006 Minnesota Corn Performance tests to determine the effect of herbicide resistance- and Bt-traits on yields. At the outset, we should point out that these comparisons confound genetics and traits.

"However, it's valid to make these comparisons because a grower is interested in the yield potential of the combination of genetics and traits. And the large number of hybrids in most categories gives validity to the conclusions."

The authors concluded:

"This analysis shows there is little to no yield increase due to the addition of insect or herbicide traits in corn hybrids. We feel that corn producers can still select hybrids based on genetic yield potential and then consider insect or weed management tactics based on integrated pest management strategies to protect the genetic yield potential."

A PDF of the full article and data tables is online.

SOURCE: Minnesota Crop eNews from University of Minnesota.