Quick hybrid selection checklist

A 2012, selecting the right hybrids isn’t as automatic as you thought. Use this simple checklist to make sure you cover all the bases.

Quick hybrid selection checklist

After 2012, selecting the right hybrids isn’t as automatic as you thought. Use this simple checklist to make sure you cover all the bases.

✓ Soil typepe: Is it sandy, loam or clay? What about organic matter and pH? Crusting? Is there gravel?

✓ Drainage: Is there surface or tile drainage? Is it uniform? Is the field rolling, flat or bottoms?

✓ Tillage: Will you use conventional tillage, no-till or some combination?

✓ Dry and store: Do you have a dryer or must you field-dry grain?

✓ Row width: Hybrids with more population tolerance are suited to 20-inch, 15-inch and twin rows.

✓ Previous crop: Certain hybrids aren’t recommended for corn after corn.

✓ Previous herbicide: Did you use conventional herbicides, glyphosate or glufosinate?

✓ 2013 herbicides: Which ones will you use this year?

✓ Insects and diseases: Which ones are prevalent in the field?

✓ Intended use: Are you growing corn for grain, silage, ethanol, waxy or food-grade uses?

✓ GMO hybrids: Is it European Union-approved, or must you channel grain?

✓ Desired traits: Which traits do you need?

✓ Foliar fungicides: Which diseases are important? Are disease-resistant hybrids available?

✓ Hybrid maturity: Pick what’s right for your area

✓ Drought, heat tolerance: Are drought-tolerant hybrids available?

✓ Seedling vigor: How fast does it get out of the ground?

✓ Root system: What does the hybrid look like below ground?

✓ Brace roots: How much root strength does it have above ground?

✓ Stalk strength: How does this relate to standability?

✓ Leaf type: Is it upright or floppy? It relates to light interception.

✓ Plant height: If you plant two hybrids together, are heights similar?

✓ Ear height: Is it reasonable?

✓ Tassel size: How many branches does it have?

✓ Pollen shed: How many growing degree days from planting to pollen shed?

✓ Silk emergence: How many GDDs to silk emergence?

✓ Ear type: Does it produce girthy or flex ears?

✓ Stay-green: How long will it stay healthy?

✓ Pick or shell: How will you harvest?

✓ Ear attachment: Will the stalk hold on to ears?

✓ Test weight: How does the hybrid stack up normally?

✓ Ease of harvest: Will the combine operator say it’s easy to shell?

✓ Consistency: Will it perform under different conditions?

✓ Yield and moisture: Does it have a good yield-to-moisture ratio?

✓ Hybrid type: Is it known as a racehorse or workhorse?

✓ Soil adaptability: Can it adapt to different soil types?

This article published in the November, 2012 edition of INDIANA PRAIRIE FARMER.

All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2012.

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