Back to top

Grain Hybrid Selection

Hybrid performance may vary considerably among fields and farms, but relative yields among hybrids are fairly consistent from year to year. As a result, yield monitors have proven to be an economic investment for the purpose of on-farm hybrid testing.

The links below detail the performance of corn hybrids included in recent Cornell grain trials. We have designed this information to help you choose corn hybrids for your farm. You also should consider your own experience, along with that of your neighbors. Your corn seed salesperson and your Cornell Cooperative Extension office also can supply helpful information.

Please note the following points when using the grain hybrid tables. Hybrids are listed in order of maturity, from early to late, and placed in three tables, one each for early, medium-early, and medium and long-season areas.

Growing degree days are measurements of heat accumulation for corn growth. These are explained further in the General Crop Production Section. Note the approximate number of growing degree days in your area. Choose hybrids that can mature in the degree days available on your farm.

Avoid hybrids that require more growing degree days than your average. These are risky and may not mature in a cool season or an early fall. In addition, their higher moisture levels will require more energy and thus greater cost for drying. Subtract 100 to 200 growing degree days for hybrids to be grown in frost pockets or other areas subject to early frost. Do the same in selecting hybrids for late planting or early harvest.

Compare hybrids only with others in the same table. Comparisons of ratings between tables can be misleading because they are not tested under the same conditions. Early hybrids are tested at short-season locations, medium-early maturity hybrids at slightly longer season locations, and medium and late hybrids at sites with a moderate to long growing season. High-yielding hybrids in the early group are likely to do poorly in medium or late tests and vice versa.

All ratings included in these tests are based on at least three tests with three replications each, or a minimum of nine comparisons for each hybrid against other hybrids in the same table. Test sites are widespread in New York and represent a broad range of environments. The number of tests in which each hybrid appeared is noted in the tables.

The more tests, the more precise the hybrid ratings. The same is true for the number of years a hybrid has been tested. Several hybrids are rated with only one year in tests; such ratings are less valuable than those covering two or more years.

In developing these tables, we included only those hybrids that performed above 90 percent of the test average and those that companies plan to offer for sale in New York in the coming cropping season. Not all hybrids are available in all regions of the state, however.

The tables report how these hybrids performed in our trials. They may or may not perform the same on your farm. For further help in selecting hybrids specifically suited to your needs, check with your Cornell Cooperative Extension office and with seed company representatives.