Joel Ransom, NDSU Department of Plant Sciences
The 2015 season was the second season of testing within the newly revised and equipped corn hybrid testing program. Funds under this project are primarily used to support a research specialist who handles the day to day operations of this program that focuses on the eastern portion of North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota. In 2015, within each of the three testing zones of the project, which broadly represent the major corn producing environments of eastern North Dakota, experiments were established in four locations, with the goal of obtaining data from at least three good sites. Within each of these zones an early season and a full season test were established to allow for the comparison of hybrids with similar relative maturities. Conditions were favorable for early planting this season with all locations planted in April. However, the cooler than normal May weather coupled with excessive moisture in late May and early June resulted in variable emergence and poor uniformity in one site that had to be omitted from the report.
Results were obtained and reported from three locations in the southern zone, four locations in the central and four locations in the northern zone. There were 16 brands that submitted entries and a total of 173 hybrids were tested in 2015. For the first time we included conventional hybrids (non-GMO) in the Cass County location of the Central zone. Yield, moisture, and test weight were recorded by the combine as the plot was harvested. Results were statistically analyzed and published within a few working days of the harvest on the newly established corn hybrid testing website found at www.ag.ndsu.edu/cornhybridtesting.
Data from this program, along with the results from corn hybrid trials conducted by Research and Extension Centers throughout the state have also been compiled and published by the NDSU Extension Service in the North Dakota Corn Hybrid Trial Results for 2015 (A793-15). This publication is available online as well as a hard copy. Funds have been solicited from the Minnesota Corn Growers to partially fund the salary of the research specialist in 2016 onwards since some of this work is also done in Minnesota. Though the long term intent of this project is to be self-funded from the fees charged to the companies that enter their hybrids, we are still a few years from reaching that goal given the number of hybrids entered and the commitment we currently have to pay for a tractor and combine used in the project.