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Ken Ferrie Explains Flex and Fixed Corn Hybrids

December 21, 2010
By: Margy Eckelkamp, Director of Content Development, Machinery Pete

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This time of year, you’re reviewing yield maps and planning for the upcoming crop year. As Farm Journal Field Agronomist Ken Ferrie says in episode 8 of Corn College TV, that is exactly where you need to start for selecting corn hybrids for 2011.

episode1 SystemsApproachFixedFlex“Variety selection is number one in making difference in yield,” he says. “It’s important to look for the weaknesses of a hybrid. Those are just as important, maybe even more than, the strengths, because as a manager, you need to manage around the hybrid’s weaknesses.”

Resources for more information about hybrids can come from your seedsman or neighbors at the coffee shop, but one of the best ways to know about corn hybrids is an on-farm plot. Knowing more about the hybrids you plants helps further refine your crop production.

“In one plot, we planted four different genetics and they were half fixed ear type, half flex ear type,” Ferrie says. “This grower wants to variable rate population and variable rate nitrogen, so knowing ear type has provided information on how to maximize yield potential.”

Ferrie says for the flex ear type hybrids, the ear size does increase with population. But as population is increased, flex ear types are more sensitive to having the right amount of nitrogen available as well. 

Learn more in Episode 8 of Corn College TV.




“It takes a plot like this on a farmer’s own ground to get a feel for hybrid performance,” Ferrie says.  

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