Corn Seed Options Boom for No-Till

It’s no longer a guessing game, but rather a matter of sorting through all the information to find seed that fits your no-till field conditions and practices.

There have never been more corn hybrid selections and protections on the market to help meet the needs of no-tillers. We’ve moved a long way from the hybrid guessing game no-tillers were in just a few short years ago.

That’s evident as you peruse product positioning in seed company literature, study their Web sites or visit with their marketing and sales people.

You’ll find multiple choices of stacked transgenic weed and insect control traits supported by seed treatment against soil-borne diseases and secondary pests, expanded cold tolerance ratings for emergence and seedling vigor, new residue-compatibility scoring systems, “con-till” indexing and more. Many of the new offerings are aimed across the board — at traditional as well as reduced tillage — while other marketing strategies directly target the growing number of acres where high-residue levels and early planting signal the potential for cold, wet seedbed environments.

What’s New?

Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. launched a new high-residue suitability rating in December for all of the company’s nearly 300 corn hybrids being sold for 2006. The high-residue rating is based on field observations and a weighted calculation of five published trait scores including stress emergence, northern leaf blight, anthracnose stalk rot, gray leaf spot and diplodia ear mold. The scores are customized by CRM groups, geography/climate factors and market regions.

“A couple years ago, after extensive evaluations, Pioneer started posting stress emergence scores with hybrid product positioning,” explains senior marketing manager Mike DeFelice. Stress emergence scores indicate the genetic potential of hybrids to…

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Ron Ross

Ron Ross pioneered the “What I’ve Learned from No-Tilling” series that has appeared in every issue of No-Till Farmer since August of 2002. He authored more than 100 of these articles.

A graduate of South Dakota State University’s agricultural journalism program, Ross spent most of his career as a writer and editor.

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