Let Hybrids Tell You What They Need
Whether you’ve already chosen your corn hybrids for the year or still have purchasing decisions to make, one thing is for sure: every dollar counts. Your Landmark agronomist can help you understand how each hybrid reacts in various situations and help you best allocate your resources.
Obtain Hybrid-Specific Data
From the moment your seed touches the soil, every decision you make affects the ROI potential of that seed. Response-To Scores can help you determine how a particular hybrid will perform under different management strategies. According to multiple years of Answer Plot® data, there is a potential loss or gain of 90 bushels per acre based on these four factors:
Response to Population
A hybrid with a high RTP rating typically responds in yield as plant populations increase. These hybrids tend to have what the industry refers to as a “fixed” ear type, though this is not always the case. The ability of a hybrid to respond to increased populations allows you and your agronomist to take advantage of higher-management zones or higher-yielding areas of the field to push yield potential.
Conversely, a hybrid with a low RTP rating will give you roughly the same proportional yield at a low or high plant population. When using these hybrids, your agronomist may recommend lowering your existing population to allocate resources to other expenditures. These hybrids can also be good choices to use on lower-yielding areas of the field, as the ability to increase root size allows it to extract additional water and nutrients from the soil that a high RTP hybrid cannot.
Response to Nitrogen
Nitrogen is one of the most expensive inputs a grower must manage during the growing season, and it’s also one of the biggest factors to influence yield as determined by Answer Plot® data. Depending on the response-to score of a hybrid, you may want to consider a split application of N, include a N stabilizer, or increase the rate of N on hybrids with a high response to N. Those hybrids with a low or medium response to N may be for the acre that is not as highly managed.
Response to Fungicide
A high RTF score means that a hybrid has the potential to provide an economic gain in bushels if a fungicide is used. If you have planted a hybrid with a high RTF score, that hybrid should take precedence over other hybrids you have in the field when you apply fungicide. Hybrids with medium or low RTF scores should be sprayed last for a plant health benefit. However, remember to scout your fields for disease development during the growing season. You may have to spray your crop for diseases independent of its RTF rating.
Response to Continuous Corn
RTCC is the hybrid’s natural response to corn on corn. A high RTCC hybrid will have better emergence, disease resistance, and N usage in a continuous corn environment. A response to corn on corn is based more on the agronomics behind each hybrid rather than the trait package in the hybrid.
A 90-bushel-per-acre swing can be the difference between operating at a loss and having a banner year, so be sure to factor these scores into 2019 seed decisions if you haven’t finalized your purchases. If you’ve chosen your hybrids, you can still use this data to help ensure you give those hybrids what they need throughout the growing season.