DES MOINES--Growers across the Corn Belt are either anxiously waiting to get into their fields or are in the early stages of planting their 2013 corn crop. If cool, wet weather continues, planting will be delayed for many growers and prompt questions about switching to earlier season hybrids.
Long-term research studies from DuPont Pioneer and several universities show that adapted, full-season corn hybrids usually offer the best yield and profit advantage when planting delays are not extreme.
“The cool, wet weather this spring is causing planting delays in many areas, leaving growers questioning whether they need to make hybrid maturity switches,” says Mark Jeschke, DuPont Pioneer agronomy research manager. “It is important to weigh your decision carefully. If you switch to a shorter season hybrid too soon, you are giving up higher yield potential and profits.”
According to Jeschke, hybrid changes should be based on expected grower returns including yield, drying costs and test weight discounts. Early hybrids should be used under extreme late-plant or replant situations.
Full-season hybrids typically make full use of a growing season. Even when planted late, these hybrids often outperform early maturing hybrids, adjusting their growth and development to reach maturity in a shortened growing season.
Long-term studies by both Pioneer and universities which included a range of hybrid maturities across planting dates extending from April through June have shown a clear yield and profit advantage for full-season hybrids.
“If growers have questions about switching, including replacement hybrid availability, they should consult their Pioneer sales professional,” says Jeschke.
University research shows that full-season hybrids adjust to late planting with a reduction in their growing degree unit (GDU) requirement of up to six units per day of planting delay. For example, hybrids planted May 20 may require 150 fewer heat units to reach maturity than the same hybrids planted April 25. This adjustment reduces the risk of fall frost damage to these hybrids.