2022 OHIO ORGANIC CORN PERFORMANCE TEST
R.J. Minyo and O. Ortez, Horticulture & Crop
Science, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES)
M.A. Lowe and M. Sword, CFAES Wooster Farm Operations and D.G. Lohnes, CFAES Information Technology
Ohio State University Extension/Ohio Agricultural Research & Development Center
The purpose of the Ohio Organic Corn Performance Test (OOCPT) is to evaluate certified organic corn hybrids for grain yield and other important agronomic characteristics. Results of the test can assist farmers in selecting hybrids best suited to their farming operations and production environments as well as recommendations made by seed companies and breeding programs. Corn hybrids differ considerably in yield potential, standability, maturity, and other agronomic characteristics that affect profitable crop production. Hybrid selection should be based on proven performance from multiple test locations and years. The presentation of data does not imply endorsement of any hybrid by The Ohio State University.
Seed companies marketing organic corn hybrids in Ohio are invited to submit hybrids for evaluation. In 2022, companies were permitted to enter an unlimited number of hybrids and an entry fee is charged to cover operating expenses. The tests were conducted on certified organic fields at Apple Creek (West Badger Farm), Wooster (Fry Farm) in Wayne County and Graytown in Ottawa county. Test sites were intensively managed for nutrients and weed control. Each hybrid entry was evaluated using four replications per site in a randomized complete block design. Hybrids were planted either in an early or full season maturity test based on relative maturity information provided by the companies. The relative maturity of hybrid entries in the early maturity test were 106 days or earlier and the relative maturity of hybrid entries in the full season test were 107 days or later. Hybrids were planted with an Almaco Seed Pro 360 vacuum plot planter with SkyTrip GPS. Each plot consisted of four 30-inch rows 25 feet long with the center two rows utilized for data collection. The planting rates and target final stands are determined by known field history and yield goals. Soil amendments were applied according to recommended cultural practices for obtaining optimum grain yields. Details concerning the establishment and management of each 2022 test are listed in footnotes below the tables.
|SOIL TYPE||HOYTVILLE SILTY CLAY LOAM||CANFIELD SILT LOAM||CANFIELD SILT LOAM|
|SOIL TEST (pH,P,K)||6.9, 77, 269||7.5, 130, 340||7.1, 64, 272|
|PREVIOUS CROP||ALFALFA||OATS/COVER CROP MIX||OATS/COVER CROP MIX|
|PLANTING /HARVEST DATES||MAY 23 / NOV 14||MAY 25 / DEC 5||MAY 25 / DEC 5|
|TILLAGE||CONVENTIONAL TILLAGE||CONVENTIONAL TILLAGE||CONVENTIONAL TILLAGE|
|NUTRIENTS APPLIED (N,P,K) M-3 ppm||NONE||43, 63, 200||43, 63, 200|
|COOPERATOR||STEVE TURNOW||MIKE SWORD/KEN SCAIFE, OARDC||MIKE SWORD/KEN SCAIFE, OARDC|
MEASUREMENTS AND RECORDS
YIELD. The center two rows of each plot were harvested with a self propelled two row picker sheller combine. Yields were reported as bushels of grain per acre (Bu/A) at 15.5 percent moisture.
MOISTURE (HARV MST). A grain moisture determination was made from each plot with an electrical conductance moisture meter. Grain moisture was reported as percent grain moisture.
LODGING (STK LDG). The number of broken stalks in each plot was determined just prior to harvest. Only those plants with a stalk broken below the ear were considered stalk lodged. Stalk lodging was reported as a percentage of final plant stand.
FINAL STAND (FINAL STD). Seed corn producers selected a desired planting rate for each hybrid entered. Differences between the planting rate and the final stand may be attributed to seed quality and/or environmental conditions present. Populations were reported in hundreds (100/A) per acre.
EMERGENCE (EMG). An emergence count was made on each plot after plant emergence. The emergence percentage was computed based on the number of plants and the number of seed planted, and was reported as a percentage of the seeds planted.
TEST WEIGHT (TW). Test weights were recorded in pounds per bushel on grain samples at field moisture. The results are an average of all sites in the regional tests.
LSD 0.10 - Least Significant Differences at probability level 0.10 (LSD 0.10) are reported for yield and other agronomic characteristics. Differences between hybrids are significant only if they are equal to or greater than the LSD value. If a given hybrid out yields another hybrid by as much or more than the LSD value, then we are 90% confident (i.e. the odds are 10:1) that the yield difference is real, with only a 10% probability that the difference is due to chance variation (such as soil variation, etc.). For example, if Hybrid X is 19 Bu/A higher in yield than Hybrid Y, then this difference is statistically significant if the LSD is 19 Bu/A or less. If the LSD is 20 Bu/A or greater, then we are less confident that Hybrid X is really higher yielding than Hybrid Y under conditions of the test. If ‘NS’ is indicated for a characteristic, then the differences among hybrid entries are not significant at the 10% probability level.
2022 GROWING CONDITIONS
Wet/cool soil conditions in May delayed field preparation and planting. The Organic OCPT fields were planted in the second half of May into conventionally tilled fields with good soil moisture. Some conditions that favored these delays included wet soil (surplus moisture and standing water in many areas) and below-average temperatures (April and early May). The Wooster and Apple Creek organic locations received over 2” of rain within 48 hours of planting which impacted the emergence on most hybrids. The weather presented unique challenges that not only delayed planting but also delayed harvest, with two out of the three locations harvested on December 5th. Low/Moderate levels of Gray Leaf Spot could easily be found in the lower canopy with a few Northern Corn Leaf Blight lesions present. Additionally, tar spot was observed late in the season (R4 and R5 stages) in all locations. When tar spot appears late in the season, less yield impact is expected. Gibberella Ear Rot was present at low to moderate levels in several hybrids.
Wooster: Excellent soil moisture at planting. Growing conditions were favorable for most of the growing season. Minor animal damage was observed at harvest with a few plants pulled down by the local deer herd. Total rainfall 24.4” and 2522 growing degree days (GDD) planting through harvest.
Apple Creek: Soil moisture was acceptable at planting with uniform emergence and early growth. Timely rain events in July and August with minimal crop stress. September rains added TW and site finished strong. Total rainfall 23.1” and 2582 GDD planting through harvest.
Graytown: Excellent soil moisture at planting, even emergence and early growth. Heavy rain events in early June followed by extremely dry conditions late in growing season. Growing season precipitation and GDD information will be available on the web site.
In 2022, Organic OCPT yields were exceptional and exceeded expectations. Averaged across hybrid entries in the early and full season tests, yields were 211 Bu/A. Yields at individual test sites averaged across hybrid entries in the early and full season tests ranged from 193 Bu/A - Graytown, 213 Bu/A – Apple Creek to 226 Bu/A at Wooster.
Results of the 2022 testing program are presented in Tables 1 and 2. The 2 & 3 year averages for the Apple Creek and Wooster locations are presented in Table 3. Yields and other agronomic performance characteristics have been averaged across the individual test sites and shown under the SUMMARY heading for each test. The seed source and table location for hybrids are shown in Table 4. The seed treatments associated with each hybrid entry (information provided by seed companies) are indicated in Table 4. Hybrids are listed in alphabetical order by brand.
Confidence in test results increases with the number of years and the number of locations in which the hybrid was tested. Look for consistency in a hybrid's performance across a range of environmental conditions. Yield, standability, grain moisture, and other comparisons should be made between hybrids of similar maturity to determine those best adapted to your farm.
Acknowledgments:Thank you to the organic seed industry for their contributions and supporting the hybrid testing program. We thank our on-farm cooperator, Steve Turnow, for his contributions to the 2022 corn hybrid testing program. We are grateful for the assistance provided by Matt Lowe, CFAES Research Operations at Wooster; Mike Sword and the Farm Operations team assisting with field operations; and Ken Scaife, CFAES Operations Wooster.
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