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Two Michigan corn sites fare better than drought indicated
Michigan Correspondent
RIGA, Mich. — NuTech, Channel and G2 Genetics topped the results on two Michigan farms in corn tests conducted by Farmer’s Independent Research of Seed Technologies (F.I.R.S.T.).

The all-season test plot was planted May 1 at a rate of 30,000 seeds per acre and harvested on Oct. 4 at 28,300 plants per acre, on Bill Bierman’s Lenawaee County farm, in Riga. NuTech variety 5N-001 took the top yield spot at 144.6 bushels per acre. It also grossed the highest per-acre income of the 48 varieties tested, at $1,072.

NuTech also ranked second with its 5B-604 variety, yielding 129.5 bushels and grossing $958 per acre. Channel 200-91VT3P took third place, at 122.8 bushels and $904.

Rounding out the top five were Steyer 9603VT3PRO, yielding 120.9 bushels per acre and grossing $902, and AgriGold A6384VT3Pro, yielding 118.7 bushels per acre and grossing $865. The all-season test average came in at a yield of 104.7 bushels and a per-acre gross income of $774.

The non-irrigated field had previously been in clover and was conditioned with moderate potassium and phosphorus.  F.I.R.S.T. Site Manager Rich Schleuning said this field performed better than he expected due to the season’s growing conditions.

“That area didn’t get rain all summer. The drought really took its toll on it,” Schleuning said. “We had a lot of barren ears and barren stalks, and ears with very few kernels on them.

“Yields were better than I thought possible after a visit July 25. Ear size was 15 to 20 kernels round, 18 to 28 long. Grain quality was fair, with light test weight and pale yellow color. Walking along a row, good ears and barren stalks were seen.”

The all-season test planted by Schleuning on May 2 on Tom Schroeder’s farm in Reading, Hillsdale County, was put in at a rate of 32,000 seeds per acre and was harvested on Oct. 4 at 26,900 plants per acre.

The top yielder was G2 Genetics 5X-0004, at 173.9 bushels per acre and a per-acre gross income of $1,266. NuTech 5B-604 was a close second, yielding 171.2 bushels with a gross per-acre income of $1,244.

G2 Genetics captured the third-place slot with its variety 5H-0504, which yielded 162 bushels per acre and grossed $1,176. Rounding out the top five were Channel 203-43VT3P, which yielded 157.5 bushels and had a gross income of $1,149, and AgriGold A6276VT3, at 157.1 bushels and a gross per-acre income of $1,143.

Of the 48 varieties included in the test, the average yield was 134.3 bushels, with a per-acre gross income of $976. The non-irrigated sandy loam field had previously been planted to soybeans and was conditioned with high potassium and phosphorus.

According to Schleuning, ear size varied from 14-18 round and 16-28 long, with plant height ranging from 4-6.5 feet tall: “The area drought and short corn resulted in poor crop canopy development and allowed late-season grass emergence to become an issue. Plant health was good with good ear retention.”