Changing Factors Require Different No-Till Corn Choices

While most seed firms don’t rank corn hybrids for essential agronomic factors, smaller companies are offering what farmers want and need in the way of important selection data to help you push up no-till profits.

Everyone’s heard seed salesman say that almost every corn hybrid will perform well with any type of tillage. While more seed companies are finally admitting that cold vigor, residue level, germination rate and a few other items should be evaluated when selecting corn hybrids for no-till, Kevin Newgard maintains a number of other key agronomic factors need to be considered.

The veteran no-tiller from Cedar Falls, Iowa, is also regional director for Ag Spectrum, the company that markets fertilizers and soil additives along with promoting the Nu-Till system. Newgard believes you also need to consider temperature, sunlight, water, nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and trace element utilization when selecting hybrids for no-till.

Cold Shoulder From Seed Firms

While many corn companies don’t buy into the theory that hybrids react differently to agronomic factors, others do.

Most of the major seed companies looked at this concept and decided they didn’t want to follow it. As a result, says Newgard, several smaller seed companies are offering what farmers want and need in the way of selection data and they are going to gain market share as a result.

For instance, Beck’s Seed, AgVenture and Wilson Seed are among several seed companies evaluating hybrids for key agronomic factors. If your seed supplier is not doing this, Web site data that is available on specific hybrids may provide enough background to figure out the major differences for your no-till conditions.

What’s It Mean?

Newgard believes the selection of corn hybrids for no-till should also be based…

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Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has served as editor of No-Till Farmer since the publication was launched in November of 1972. Raised on a six-generation Michigan Centennial Farm, he has spent his entire career in agricultural journalism. Lessiter is a dairy science graduate from Michigan State University.

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