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Choosing the proper hybrid can greatly enhance crop production profitability. This NebGuide illustrates how to use corn hybrid test data and adjust it to your farm when selecting seed.
How often should you change hybrids? An Auburn University study compared the top corn hybrids from a 3-year regional trial (114 bushel average) with the top hybrids from the previous year's test (119 bushel average). Since the yields went from 114 to 119 bushels - a 5 bushel increase - using data from 11 locations and 8 years, should we expect twice that difference - a 10 bushel increase - with yields of 228 bushels per acre? If so, one might conclude that to maximize corn yield, hybrids must be constantly replaced.
Plant breeders are certain that genotype response is different in different environments. Grain producers need to be aware of that response to select the best hybrids for their farm. There are year-to-year differences also. The cost of seed of the best yielding hybrid and a lesser yielding hybrid often are nearly equal so the benefits derived from spending the time to choose the correct hybrid are pure profit.