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Growers Advised Not to Jump the Gun on the Switch to Earlier Season Hybrids


If cool, wet weather continues – planting will be delayed for many growers across the Corn Belt. That will prompt questions about switching to earlier season hybrids. According to long-term research studies from DuPont Pioneer and several universities – adapted, full-season corn hybrids usually offer the best yield and profit advantage when planting delays aren’t extreme. DuPont Pioneer Agronomy Research Manager Mark Jeschke says growers who switch to a shorter season hybrid too soon will give up higher yield potential and profits. Jeschke says hybrid changes should be based on expected grower returns including yield, drying costs and test weight discounts. He says early hybrids should be used under extreme late-plant or replant situations.

Even when planted late – full-season hybrids often outperform early maturing hybrids. Studies by both Pioneer and universities that 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. University research shows that full-season hybrids adjust to late planting with a reduction in their growing degree unit requirement of up to six units per day of planting delay – reducing the risk of fall frost damage to these hybrids. Pioneer studies across several years reinforce these findings.

Jeschke encourages growers with questions about switching – including replacement hybrid availability – to consult their Pioneer sales professional. Growers can also ask about specific hybrid characteristics and environmental effects.