The 2012 Arkansas Corn Standardized County Hybrid Trial report is now available. The report can be found on the publications tab of this blog site, or on the extension web site at www.aragriculture.org/crops/corn/hybrid_trials/default.htm
The 2012 growing season was the fifth year for the Corn Standardized County Hybrid Trial Program. The program’s goal is to increase knowledge on selected hybrids that are being evaluated in the University of Arkansas Corn Hybrid testing program (www.arkansasvarietytesting.com). The trials were a collaborative effort between growers, County Extension agents, Extension specialists, and industry representatives. In the trials, producers followed their normal production practices they use on their farms. The cooperation of all producers mentioned in this publication is appreciated. Producers donate time, equipment and hired labor to make these trials possible.
Trials were separated into five districts and within each district hybrids entered were consistent. Districts included the Northeast, Central, Southeast, River Valley and Southwest, representing the major corn producing areas of Arkansas. A map on page 4 of the report shows the counties in each district. Industry representatives and Extension specialists choose hybrids to be entered, but hybrids were required to be commercially available and have been tested/or being tested in the University of Arkansas Corn Hybrid testing program. All hybrid trials were irrigated, and all hybrids were glyphosate tolerant. Relative maturity of hybrids entered ranged from 112 to 120 days. A full list of hybrids entered along with relative maturity and traits can be found on page 30 of the report. Trials were strip trials and were not replicated, but multiple locations within a district do provide useful information on yield and agronomic considerations.
Information collected at each corn trial includes soil type, planting date, agronomic production practices utilized by each producer, final plant population, test weight, grain moisture at harvest, and yield. Plots were planted with producer equipment and typically were eight rows wide by the length of field (500-1500 ft). Grain moisture and test weights were recorded by commercial or hand held grain analysis equipment. Grain yields were adjusted to 15.5% moisture. When lodging occurred visual ratings were taken by County Extension agents, Extension specialists and/or producers.
2012 was an exceptional year for corn yields. Even with the drought, most of the trials with proper irrigation had higher than normal yields, which were attributed to excellent growing conditions during the first half of the growing season. Planting dates ranged from March 16 to April 18 with an average planting date of April 1. Planting rates ranged from 32,000 to 40,000 seeds per acre with an average of 34,900. Harvest dates ranged from August 2 to September 20 with an average harvest date of August 19. Five of the trials were not reported due to high yield variability, exceptionally low yields, highly variable plant stands or were unable to harvest due to severe lodging that was caused by high winds.
The authors would like to express their gratitude to the producers, County Agents, and industry representatives that made these trials possible.