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A tale of two plots: Corn yield varied widely in south Indiana
Associate Editor

FOLSOMVILLE, Ind. — Two Indiana farms not so far apart saw quite a difference in corn yields this summer, during Farmer’s Independent Research of Seed Technologies (F.I.R.S.T.) tests on their land.

Channel variety 214-14VT3P did the best overall of the two tests, yielding 203.5 bushels and a gross income of $1,504 per acre on the Folsomville farm of J.R. and B.J. Roesner in Warrick County. Coming in second was Stewart variety 8V446 with a yield of 199.5 bushels and $1,496 gross income.

Taking the third-place spot out of 54 varieties on this test plot was Steyer 11406VT3PRO, with 197.4 bushels and $1,457 per acre gross income. All three companies did well among the top 10 yielders, with Channel and Stewart each capturing two other spots and Steyer, one more.

The average yield for this test site was 162.8 bushels and a gross income of $1,204 per acre. Average moisture was just under 20 percent and lodging was fairly low.

At the Huntingburg farm of Dennis Whitsitt in Dubois County, to the northeast, the top-yielding variety was Steyer 11407VT3PRO, with 163.4 bushels and $1,277 gross income per acre. There was no lodging of cornstalks on this site, and average moisture for all 54 test varieties was just over 22 percent.

The second-high yielder in this plot’s test was Stewart variety 7E224RIB, with 158.9 bushels and gross income of $1,252 per acre. Coming in third was Steyer, again, with variety 11203-3000GT, yielding 157.6 bushels per acre and a gross income of $1,236. (Stewart also placed 10th of all varieties in this test.) Average yield for the Huntingburg site was 137.1 bushels and $1,071 gross income per acre.

F.I.R.S.T. Site Manager Rich Schleuning was in charge of both test plots and said the difference in yields may owe largely to the fact Folsomville is comprised of more bottom ground and is a darker soil, whereas Huntingburg is a more clay-ey soil. For the particular Folsomville site, he said the corn was lucky because it received rains even when there was none just a quarter-mile to the north.
The Whitsitt farm also received rain, but, as Schleuning said, “It’s a tough soil.” It is, in fact, a clay loam, well drained, no-till and non-irrigated, with moderate P and K and a pH of 6.1. Corn had been previously planted to that plot, as well, for more than two years.
The Roesner farm is a silty clay loam, also well drained and non-irrigated but with fall tillage. It too was planted previously to two-plus years of corn, and the soil contained moderately high P and K with a 6.4 pH.

This corn “got off to a good start, with a nice final stand,” wrote Schleuning. “Plant health was good, with a light infestation of eyespot. There was some root lodging with the high wind and rain before harvest; stalk quality was good, as late-season rain brought the plants back to life.”

Planting their own non-test corn, he said the Roesners seeded it in March because of the good weather, but it didn’t do as well because while it got off to a nice start, those plants went through pollination at the exact wrong time with the drought. On the other hand, he said Whitsitt planted his popcorn crop about four days before F.I.R.S.T. planted test corn, in mid-April, and reported while the yield was a bit low, Whitsitt was satisfied with what his plants gave him this year.

The Folsomville site, Schleuning said, has the potential for much higher yield, and even Huntingburg can produce more than 200 bushels per acre, in an ideal year.

“I think Folsomville surprised me more than anything,” he said, while he was “happy” overall with the final stand of 28,200 plants per acre at Huntingburg.

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