Corn School: Leveraging new genetics to protect yield potential

Grain corn acres in Western Canada this year might be down, but there’s potential for some big yields, assuming the crop can avoid late season pitfalls.

“For growers who held onto those acres, they’re going to be rewarded, no doubt. Grain corn crops here in southern Manitoba look especially strong,” says Alana Serhan, market development agronomist with Pride Seeds, in this episode of Corn School.

Some growers, in pencilling out their 2020 crop with low corn prices, chose to go back to older Roundup Ready hybrids, she notes.

Corn borer also hasn’t been a serious problem for Manitoba growers for the last few years, resulting in questions about whether the increased insect protection offered by newer traits is necessary.

“My message as an agronomist is you’re paying for those products and those traits for a reason. It doesn’t take long for an issue to set in and for corn borer to take out a large portion of your field,” she says. “Ultimately, those traits protecting against corn borer, fall armyworm and other things are there for a reason.”

And she says now is the time of year when growers should start to see more noticeable differences between genetic packages, whether it’s insect or disease pressure, or lodging.

“In a year like this year when we’re looking for high yields, we need to make sure we’re protecting that investment,” says Serhan.

Catch the full discussion on the western Canadian grain corn crop and trait packages in the video below:

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