Back to the Basics of Hybrid Selection


Selecting the right hybrid is one of the most important management decisions growers make. "Attaining yield goals comes down to putting the right seed in the right acre," said Patrick Kopesky, Federated agronomist at the Ogilvie location.

The challenge in choosing seed, according to Kopesky, can be broken down into the following specific criteria.

  • Field history (previous crop)
  • Soil fertility, soil texture and type

"Selecting a hybrid for lighter or sandier ground will be much more successful [in those types of soil] than planting a hybrid [that is] best suited for heavier textured soil," said Kopesky.

  • Previous insect/disease pressure

Insects and diseases affecting a field in prior seasons, such as corn rootworm and anthracnose, can play a role in selecting a hybrid. Those hybrids with a greater tolerance to injury can help reduce the yield loss potential. "Standability is critical," he said. Late season stalk strength is vital to ensuring plants do not fall over prior to harvesting.

  • Relative maturity

"Growers also need to keep in mind how relative maturity fits into their operation," said Kopesky. Earlier hybrids are better suited for the northern reaches of Federated's territory as opposed to the longer season hybrids that fare well further south. Additionally, dry down is a consideration as later maturity hybrids tend to dry down more slowly, depending on environmental conditions and the environment, which results in wetter corn and the need to dry the grain once it's in the bins.

Federated's Discovery Plot information (see soybean plot results below) offers a great way to key in on products that have proven themselves. "Selecting a hybrid on yield is just one piece of the pie," Kopesky pointed out.

In the end, there is no one-size-fits-all product for every farm. Growers often need to plant multiple hybrids across their fields to address the many factors and variables. "Bundling corn types," said Kopescy, will [provide the] opportunity to see what works best."

Talk to your local Federated Agronomist to discuss which hybrids fit your farm for 2018, and take advantage of early-purchase discounts soon (see below).