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Summer rain let-up in Dunkirk gives test yields needed boost

By ANN HINCH
Assistant Editor

DUNKIRK, Ohio — “Cool and wet spring reduced harvest population” – these are likely words echoing across the Midwest on thousands of farms as growers labor to finish corn and soybean harvest behind an unusual year of high rain, cool temperatures and spotty sunlight.

From the Jerry McBride farm in Hardin County in Dunkirk, Ohio, this is how Rich Schleuning leads off his early and full season test reports for Farmer’s Independent Research of Seed Technologies (F.I.R.S.T.). Schleuning, F.I.R.S.T. test manager for the Northeast Corn Belt, noted less than two weeks ago that compared to last year’s harvest, “I’ve got a long ways to go.”

For the early season test of corn varieties in 2009, Stewart 7T285 seed had the best showing out of 30 varieties with a yield of 224 bushels per acre in the moderately drained clay loam soil. The no-till test plot also helped Channel 205-94VT3 seed produce 222.2 bushels per acre, and AgriGold A6325VT3 came in third with 217.4.
All 30 varieties were planted in mid-May at a rate of 32,500 seeds per acre, and harvested early last week at 23,400 per acre. Schleuning noted yields were better than expected, since there was only 1/10 an inch of rain between June 20-Aug. 22.

“The September and October rains brought the crop back to life,” he added, “which made for a wet harvest.”

Corn for the full season test on McBride’s farm was also planted on May 19 at a similar seeding rate as the early season corn, and harvested slightly higher, at 24,100 bushels per acre. The most prolific of the 30 varieties tested was Ebberts X2014VT3, with 206.6 bushels per acre yield.

Coming in a close second, with 205.4 bushels per acre, was Dairyland 9410, and third was Channel 210-61VT3 with 200.1. Lodging for nearly all varieties was at around 1 percent, with just a handful at 2 percent (for all early season varieties, it was at 1 percent).

The “control” variety against which all these test seeds were compared was Pioneer 34F29CK. Yields of the top three varieties in both early and full season tests exceeded this control yield.
“Everything seems to be standing pretty good,” Schleuning said of his region, which includes Ohio, Indiana and southern Michigan. “Stock quality seems to be real good so far this year. As long as everything can hold together, I think harvest could still be fine – if we could get some weather to cooperate.”

The full season test chart can be found on page 15.
A list of all the hybrids in this test is available at www.firstseedtests.com

11/11/2009