Monday, December 1, 2014

2014 Wisconsin Corn Hybrid Performance Trials: Grain - Silage - Specialty - Organic

Every year, the University of Wisconsin-Extension and the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences conduct a corn evaluation program in cooperation with the Wisconsin Crop Improvement Association. The purpose of this program is to provide unbiased performance comparisons of hybrid seed corn for both grain and silage available in Wisconsin.
In 2014, grain and silage performance trials were planted at 14 locations in four production zones: the southern, south central, north central, and northern zones. Both seed companies and university researchers submitted hybrids.

The 2014 planting season, like the 2013 season, was one of the longest ever recorded in Wisconsin. Frequent rains caused delays, with many growers in north eastern Wisconsin not planting until mid-June. Delayed planting at Coleman, Marshfield, Seymour, and Valders combined with a cool growing season delayed harvest producing grain that was higher in moisture and lower for test weight than average. Over the entire growing season, growing degree-day accumulation was below the 30-year normal in both northern and southern Wisconsin. During May and June precipitation was significantly above average throughout Wisconsin. Cold weather and snow occurred during early November affecting grain dry down at Coleman, Marshfield, and Seymour. Little insect or disease pressure was observed in the trials. Grain and silage yields were above normal compared to the 10-year average at early planted sites.

Table of Contents
Companies entering hybrids
Hybrid index
Transgenic technologies
Seed treatments
Temperature and Precipitation
Trial management
Hybrid history
Table 1
Table 2
Table 3
Table 4
Table 5
Table 6
Table 24
Southern Zone
Arlington, Janesville, Lancaster
Early Maturity Trial: 105 day or earlier
Late Maturity Trial: later than 105 day
Table 7
Table 8
South Central Zone
  Fond du Lac, Galesville, Hancock (irrigated)
Early Maturity Trial: 100 day or earlier
Late Maturity Trial: later than 100 day
Table 9
Table 10  
North Central Zone
Chippewa Falls, Marshfield, Seymour, Valders
Early Maturity Trial: 90 day or earlier
Late Maturity Trial: later than 90 day
Table 11
Table 12
Northern Zone
  Marshfield, Spooner (three sites), Coleman
Table 13
Southern Zone
  Arlington and Lancaster
Early Maturity Trial: 110 day or earlier
Late Maturity Trial: later than 110 day
Table 14
Table 15
Figure 2
South Central Zone
  Arlington and Galesville
Early Maturity Trial: 106 day or earlier
Late Maturity Trial: later than 104 day
Table 16
Table 17
Figure 3
North Central Zone
  Chippewa Falls, Marshfield, Valders
Early Maturity Trial: 99 day or earlier
Late Maturity Trial: later than 99 day
Table 18
Table 19
Figure 4
Northern Zone
  Marshfield, Spooner (two sites), Coleman
  Table 20
Figure 5
South Central Zone
Fond du Lac, Galesville, Hancock  

Table 21
North Central Zone
   Chippewa Falls, Marshfield, Seymour, Valders
Table 22
Specialty - Dryland
Central Zone - Dryland
   Hancock Deficit Irrigation,
   Hancock Full Irrigation

Table 23


This report is available in Microsoft Excel and Acrobat PDF formats at the Wisconsin Corn Agronomy website:

The most current version of Wisconsin Corn Hybrid Performance Trials (A3653) is also available to download as a PDF or purchase as a printed booklet at the UW Extension Learning Store:

For more information on the Wisconsin Crop Improvement Association, visit:
Copyright © 2014 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System doing business as the division of Cooperative Extension of the University of Wisconsin-Extension. All rights reserved. Send copyright inquiries to: Cooperative Extension Publishing, 432 N. Lake St., Rm. 227, Madison, WI 53706,

This publication is available from your county UW-Extension office (, from the University of Wisconsin–Madison Department of Agronomy, 1575 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706, phone: (608) 262-1390, or from Cooperative Extension Publishing. To order, call toll-free: 1-877-947-7827 (WIS-PUBS) or visit our website:

Friday, August 1, 2014

2014 Agronomy/Soils Field Day Highlights UW-Madison Research

The Departments of Agronomy and Soil Science in conjunction with the Arlington Agricultural Research Station will host their annual field day on August 27, 2014. The field day will highlight UW-Madison research on emerging technologies, greenhouse gases in agriculture, and relevant crop production issues. The field day will begin at 8:00 am and run until 2:30 pm. Lunch will be provided by the Badger Crops Club for a $5 donation.


8:00     Registration & coffee

8:30     Soils, Forages, and Greenhouse Gas Tours depart

10:30  Grains, Forages, and Greenhouse Gas Tours depart

12:00  Lunch with demonstration of UAV with aerial photography

1:00   Grains and Soils Tours depart

Note: All tours are only offered twice. Tours depart promptly as scheduled.



Herbicide resistance in Wisconsin corn and soybean: Take Action (Vince Davis)
Prescription seeding rates and climate impact on Midwestern soybean (Shawn Conley & Ethan Smidt)
Maximum yield systems research for corn (Joe Lauer)
Going “Old School” to manage corn rootworms (Bryan Jensen)

Perennial forages are essential for long term carbon storage in Wisconsin’s prairie soils  (Gregg Sanford)
Cautions when harvesting wet forage (Dan Undersander)
What level of weed control is needed to ensure alfalfa establishment? (Mark Renz)
Common Alfalfa Diseases for 2014 and Management Options (Damon Smith)

Strategies for crop residue management (Francisco Arriaga)
N sensor research for corn and wheat (Carrie Laboski & Haily Henderson)
Using rolled cover crops in organic and conventional soybean production (Erin Silva)

Greenhouse Gases in Wisconsin Agriculture
Introduction to greenhouse gases (Matt Ruark)
Greenhouse gas emissions from three crop rotations in Wisconsin (Maciek Kazula & Joe Lauer)
Influence of weed management on nitrous oxide emissions (Becky Bailey & Vince Davis)
Greenhouse gases from dairy-based rotations  (Sarah Collier & Matt Ruark)
Greenhouse gases and biofuel production (Randy Jackson)

Visit the exhibits between tours and during lunch: Apps for Ag; Nutrient & Pest Management Program; Integrated Pest Management Program; SnapPlus; and more!!

The Arlington Research Station is located on Hwy. 51, about 5 miles south of Arlington.  Watch for Field Day signs. GPS coordinates: 43.300467, -89.345534

For more information contact the Dept. of Agronomy 608/262-1390 or the Dept. of Soil Science 608/262-0485.

In the event of rain, presentations will be held inside.

Click on the link below to view the flyer for this event:

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Corn-Soybean Rotation X Tillage Interaction: No Tillage Required When Rotating

Crop rotation is the easiest yield you can get. I call it "the gift that keeps on giving." Corn yield increases 10 to 19% when rotated with soybean, while soybean yield increases 14 to 23% when rotated with corn. For a summary of these rotation responses click here and here. This rotation effect is even more dramatic in stressful years.

The rotation effect lasts at most two years and depends upon the length of the break between similar crops. When you have two or more break years, then the yield of second-year corn is 7 to 8% greater than continuous corn. If there is only one break year, then the yield of second-year corn is the same as continuous corn.

Tillage used to be about controlling weeds and preparing a seedbed. Today it is all about stand establishment. We have many excellent herbicides and advanced technology on our planters. So tillage is often not  necessary in today’s corn production systems, except in continuous corn. Tillage responses are more often measured in the northern corn belt and can increase yield 5 to 7%.

How does crop rotation and tillage interact to affect grain yield? 

A corn-soybean rotation X tillage study was begun in 1983 at Arlington, WI. The rotation treatments consist of continuous corn, continuous soybean, alternating corn and soybean, and five years of corn followed by five years of soybean. Every phase of these 14 rotation treatments is grown every year. Two tillage treatments designated no-till (NT) and conventional-till (CT) have been practiced. since 1987. No-till consists of one-pass with a 13-wave coulter, followed by trash whippers and then double disc seed openers. Conventional-till is fall chisel plow followed by two spring field-cultivator operations. The continuous corn and soybean plots have been in place 30 years. The results for the previous 20 years (1993-2012) are shown in Figure 1 for corn and Figure 2 for soybean.

Little corn yield differences are observed in rotated corn (CS) and first-year (1C) corn following 5-years of soybean (Figure 1). During the second-year of corn plots that had conventional tillage increased yield 5% over no-till plots (2C). Yield was 10 to 11% greater for conventional-till plots than for no-till plots as the number of continuous corn production years increased (3C, 4C, and 5C). So, tillage is not needed when corn is annually rotated with soybean. Tillage can make up some of the rotation effect over time in continuous corn, but it does not bring yield back to rotated corn yield levels.

Figure 1. Corn yield response to rotation and tillage following five years of soybean during 1993 to 2012 at Arlington, WI. Asterisks indicate statistical differences at P < 0.05. NS= non significant. Percentage values indicate relative differences between tillage systems for a phase in the rotation sequence.
The story is somewhat different for soybean. Grain yield is 3 to 5% greater in no-till than conventional till for the rotated soybean (SC), first- (1S) and second-year (2S) soybean following five years of corn (Figure 2). There is no tillage effect as the number of years of continuous soybean production increases (3S, 4S and 5S) Conventional-till does increase yield over no-till in soybean plots that have been in continuous production for 30 years (SS). So, tillage is not needed when soybean is annually rotated with corn. 

Figure 2. Soybean yield response to rotation and tillage following five years of corn during 1993 to 2012 at Arlington, WI. Asterisks indicate statistical differences at P < 0.05. NS= non significant. Percentage values indicate relative differences between tillage systems for a phase in the rotation sequence.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Corn Seed Survival

While reading the Nation Corn Growers Association Yield Contest results, I was struck by the plant populations at planting and harvest. The average planting population of all entrants in the contest was 33,616 plants/A, while state winners averaged 34,821 plants/A, and national winners averaged 39,166 plants/A. The average harvest population for all entrants was 32,160 plants/A, while state winners averaged 33,833 plants/A, and national winners averaged 39,222 plants/A. If we assume that the initial plant population was the planter setting that reflects the number of seeds dropped, then seed survival for all entrants was 96%, while for state winners it was 97% survival, and for national winners it was 100% survival.

I was curious about corn seed survival in Wisconsin. We have traditionally figured that 90% of the seed planted survives to produce a harvestable plant. So to establish a field at 30,000 plants/A, you would need to drop seed at 33,333 plants/A.

Corn seed treatments are required in most planting situations. These treatments protect the plant through the first four- to six-weeks of the corn life cycle. In the past the dominant seed treatment was Captan. Since 2005, we have been tracking the use of seed treatments in the UW corn hybrid performance trials and to date we have had 164 different combinations of seed treatments entered. The question that many growers have asked is, "Has corn seed survival improved in modern production systems?"

Since 2008, the UW hybrid evaluation program has used a precision planter to establish plots. The seeding rate for every plot planted in this program is 34,100 plants/A. At harvest we count the number of plants that survived in 10% of the plots. Various seed treatment combinations are used on hybrids, however, no chemical seed treatments are used in the organic trials.

Where seed treatments are used, corn seed survival averaged 91-92% and was similar in the Early, Late and Specialty trials (Table 1). The organic trials where no seed treatments are used had 82% seed survival. The most challenging location in the program with the lowest seed survival was Seymour where survival was 84%. Other locations that had lower seed survival included Coleman, Lancaster and Marshfield. These sites ranged from 86 to 87% survival. The location with the highest seed survival was Fond du Lac at 95%.

Table 1. Corn seed survival in the UW Corn Hybrid Performance 
Trials. Since 2008, all plots have been seeded at 34,100 plants/A.


(plants x 1000/A)
LSD (0.05)

Data derived from reports available at (Table 5 or 6).

Another study where we routinely measure seed survival is a planting date experiment at Arlington (Table 2).  In this study a known quantity of seed is planted and then emerged plants are counted at V5-V6. The optimum time to seed corn at this farm is May 1. Yet, seeding around May 1 does not always result in the best corn seed survival. For example, during 2010 seed survival was 85% in early May with dates before and after where survival was 95% or greater. In most years planting during April decreased seed survival. So to achieve a target harvested population, seeding rate adjustments would need to be made and changed as the planting season progressed.

Table 2. Corn seed survival (%) at Arlington, WI.

Planting date
March 26 - April 26
April 30 - May 8
May 16 - May 21
May 31 - June 4
June 15 - June 18
LSD (0.10)
Data derived from under "03 Date of Planting."

Corn seed survival likely varies by field. The more challenging fields in our program are in northern Wisconsin. One exception is Lancaster where aggressive tillage is used to prepare the seedbed with soil crusting resulting in some years. Average corn seed survival seems higher than the 90% level we have traditionally used. We should probably be using 92 to 95% seed survival. However, there are numerous exceptions due to seed quality, planting date, tillage system, seed treatment and hybrid.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Corn Yield Records Set in Nine Wisconsin Counties during 2013

Record corn grain yields were set in nine Wisconsin counties during 2013. The top yielding entry for 2013 was from Gene Steiger of Bloomington (Grant county) at 322 bu/A growing Dekalb DKC62-08RIB. The highest recorded corn yield in Wisconsin is 327 bu/A set during 2012 near Plover (Portage county) by Jeff Laskowski growing Pioneer P0533AM1. 

Figure 1. Highest recorded corn yields (bu/A) in Wisconsin counties. Data includes participants in the NCGA yield contest and Wisconsin PEPS program.

Table 1. Growers who set county record corn yields (bu/A) during 2013. Data derived from participants in the NCGA yield contest. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Most Popular Corn Agronomy Blog Articles of 2013

Here are the most popular blog articles of the 2013 growing season for the Wisconsin Corn Agronomy site. Traffic view counts are determined by Google Blogger.
  1. The "Double-Whammy" of Delayed Corn Planting (posted April 29, 3016 views)
  2. Evaluation of Ascend®: Hormones that stimulate corn growth (posted May 3, 2570 views) 
  3. How Late Can I Plant Corn? (posted June 7, 2389 views) 
  4. Record When a Field Tassels to Predict Corn Silage Harvest Date (posted July 15, 2092 views)
  5. The Best Corn Planting Dates Are Yet To Come (posted April 22, 1289 views)

Here are the most popular blog articles during the 2012 growing season.
  1. Corn Management Decisions During Drought Depend Upon Pollination Success (posted July 7, 2245 views)
  2. What Happens Within the Corn Plant When Drought Occurs? (posted July 6, 2018 views)
  3. Pricing Drought Stressed Corn Silage (posted July 10, 1989 views)
  4. Harvesting Barren and Poorly Pollinated Corn (posted July 9, 1896 views)
  5. What Worked, What Didn't Work During the Drought of 1988? (posted July 19, 1370 views)