You bought your seed corn and paid for it before the end of last year. It's already delivered because the company wanted to move inventory. So you're all set for planting day, right? Not necessarily. Dave Nanda, director of genetics and technology for Seed Consultants, Inc., says you may still have some decisions to make even though you already have the seed. Your decisions likely won't result in returning seed.
Instead, it's all about getting the right hybrid in the right place, he says. Maybe you figured out which fields for which hybrids and ordered methodically, maybe you didn't. Maybe you just figured so many acres total, and ordered hybrids based on that number of acres. At any rate, you have a second chance to make sure the hybrids are going of fields where they have the best chance for success.
For example, if you have some traited corn but not all traited corn, and you know you have had more cutworm problems in certain fields, that's where the traited corn ought to go. That's of course assuming the insect trial in the corn you selected controls black cutworm. Not all traits do. Consult the tags on your bags for more information. You could even have one hybrid with a trait that does, and one that doesn't – all sitting in your shed side by side.
Black cutworm outbreak is inconsistent because moths fly up from the Gulf – it doesn't overwinter. But if you want to be protected and you're not applying an insecticide, plant the corn with the trait that controls it in fields with the highest risk. Those are usually the fields that remain green the longest.
You may want to do the same thing with disease traits. If you bought a hybrid, then checked the tag and found out it is fairly susceptible to gray leaf spot, it may be a candidate for a fungicide. You will want to watch it to see if symptoms develop down the road. If your fields are partially irrigated, it wouldn't be the hybrid to put on irrigated acres since the extra moisture could promote development of disease.
It's these kinds of decisions that can make the difference between a 180 bushel and a 200 bushel per acre farm average next fall. Remember, 2012 is behind you! It's OK to talk about those types of averages again!