Farmers "Sound Off" On Hybrids

Surprisingly, many farmers seem happier with no-till corn hybrids than university researchers and seed suppliers would have guessed.

While some farmers firmly believe new hybrids are needed with no-till, they were in the minority among farmers surveyed at last winter’s sixth annual National No-Tillage Conference.

Others see a need for new hybrid features to overcome the cold, wet soil conditions of droughty conditions of summer.

More Work, More Places

Others feel seed companies aren’t doing enough no-till plot work and when it’s done, it’s not being done at enough locations. Still others see a need for more work on specific-heat unit needs with no-till hybrids.

One farmer even developed his own program to determine which hybrids work best under no-till conditions.

“Until recently, most seed companies were not as concerned about no-till as conventional tillage,” he says. “Hopefully, this is changing.”

The majority of respondents are seeking no-till hybrids with better emergence, more early vigor, higher germination and a quicker start in cold, wet conditions.

When it comes to needed information, some farmers feel companies should provide better cold germination ratings. Other farmers feel companies need more information on selecting hybrids for no-till.

Pest and disease concerns are also high on the list of farmer “wants” in no-till corn hybrids. Several farmers mentioned the need for more disease resistance, gray leaf spot resistance, cutworm resistance and even white mold tolerance in corn.

Still others mentioned hybrids for no-till need the ability bred into them to achieve better stands and to…

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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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