Golden Harvest: New Trial Data Shows Three Key Management Practices Increase Corn Yield Potential

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G15J91 response to planter-applied fertility at Slater, Iowa, in 2021. Source: Syngenta.

Golden Harvest announced today new trial data reinforcing the importance of understanding the interactions between hybrid genetics, environment and certain management practices is the key to maximizing corn yield potential. To evaluate the response of Golden Harvest hybrids to management practices, such as seeding rate, fertility and foliar-applied fungicides, the Golden Harvest agronomy research team implemented field trials across the Midwest in collaboration with local universities.

Golden Harvest Eastern Agronomic Research Scientist Brad Bernhard, Ph.D., and Steve Wilkens, Golden Harvest Agronomy Manager for the East, share how pairing the right Golden Harvest corn hybrid with the right management practices can help maximize yield potential.

Select the optimum seeding rate for each hybrid
Optimal seeding rate is hybrid specific and environment dependent. Depending on agronomic characteristics, the grain yield potential of some corn hybrids is more easily influenced by increasing seeding rate.

“When determining the optimum seeding rate, it’s important to consider things like the hybrid’s ear type,” said Bernhard. “Hybrids that exhibit ear flex tend to produce a larger ear at lower planting populations and a smaller ear at higher populations, while fixed ear hybrids produce the same number of kernels per ear, regardless of population.”

Golden Harvest offers a couple hybrids that are a good choice for farmers looking to increase seeding rate to maximize yield potential, including Golden Harvest corn hybrid G10D21.

Selecting the appropriate seeding rate for each hybrid’s agronomic characteristics is crucial to helping achieve high yield potential in corn production.

“This hybrid retains ear size with increased seeding rates, making it extremely responsive to higher populations in high-yield environments,” said Bernhard. “However, it also maintains yield potential in lower-yield environments at average seeding rates, as it frequently produces a second harvestable ear.”

Precisely place fertilizer
Precision fertilizer placement provides available nutrients close to the plant. The use of phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen helps corn plants develop strong roots, stems and foliage to increase corn yield potential.

Systems for precision fertilizer application include planter-applied fertilizer, banded fertilizer and strip-tilled fertilizer. Differing from broadcast applications, which increase the fertilizer rate, precision fertilizer application works best by concentrating the same or reduced fertilizer rate in a more concentrated area near the plant.

There are a few Golden Harvest corn hybrids that respond well to precision fertilizer applications.

Proper fertilizer placement can increase late-season standability to ultimately increase yield potential in farmers’ fields.

“I would describe Golden Harvest corn hybrid G14N11 as a management-driven hybrid,” said Bernhard. “This hybrid consistently responded better to banded and planter-applied fertilizer applications than other hybrids in trials throughout 2019 to 2021. Similar results were seen with Golden Harvest corn hybrid G15J91: Planter-applied fertilizer increased yield by 40 bushels per acre (bu/A) at our Slater, Iowa, trial site in 2021.”

Apply fungicide to maximize return on investment
Fungicide applications can prevent plant diseases like tar spot, Southern rust and gray leaf spot from developing, while also helping suppress disease pressure that may already be present in a field.

“But the right fungicide can do even more for your corn plant health than prevent disease,” explained Wilkens. “Fungicide applications can also lead to increased standability and stay-green, which prolongs photosynthesis and can boost yield potential.”

In trials, Golden Harvest corn hybrid G11V76 consistently showed a large response to fungicide applications in both high and low disease environments. Across 14 trials, most of which had low disease pressure, the hybrid averaged a 12 bu/A yield response to fungicide.

Golden Harvest corn hybrid G14N11 also saw significant improvement in yield and late-season plant health from fungicide applications in high and low disease environments. Yield response to fungicide applications averaged 10 bu/A across 22 research trials for this hybrid.

“Providing research insights on hybrid response to different management systems is one of the ways Golden Harvest shows its commitment to our farmers,” said Wilkens. “Farmers can connect with their local Golden Harvest Seed Advisor for more recommendations to maximize corn yield potential this growing season.”

For more considerations as farmers get deeper into the 2022 growing season, Golden Harvest offers a library of agronomy articles with actionable data and local insights to help manage fields for maximum yield potential. The Agronomy in Action 2022 Research Review also gives access to more insights and recommendations pertinent to your field.