Agronomy Geeks Ontario — Ep. 9: When to Switch To Lower CHU Hybrids

Seedling corn As May ticks away, farmers in Ontario continue to wrestle with difficult planting conditions.

In this episode of the Agronomy Geeks Ontario podcast, Bernard Tobin and Syngenta agronomic sales manager Shawn Brenneman discuss the pace of #plant14 and the decisions farmers are facing.

As of May 21, Brenneman estimates that 40 to 50 percent of the province’s corn crop is in the ground. Farmers in eastern Ontario have managed to miss some of the rains and are in pretty good shape, as are farmers on lighter ground in areas such as Brant and Norfolk County where 75 to 80 percent of the crop has been planted. Growers in the far southwest Kent and Essex County and those on heavier loams and clays continue to struggle. In some of these areas, planting has yet to start and Brenneman pegs planting progress at about 20 percent.


The big question for farmers now is whether to move to shorter season hybrids. “We’ve seen the advantages of going to longer maturity corn and earlier planting,” says Brenneman. “Growers are  typically growing hybrids 200 to 300 CHU longer than they would five years ago.”

But as planting pushes past May 20, farmers should be planting hybrids with CHU ratings that are recommended for their area. And if you’re still planting corn at the end of May, Brenneman recommends planting “about 100 CHU less than what you would typically grow as a regularly adapted hybrid for your area.”

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