Amid cool and wet conditions in much of the Corn Belt, some producers likely are weighing whether to switch corn hybrids to varieties that will mature earlier. Before you make the call, evaluate the economics of the decision, says Iowa producer Chris Barron, a consultant with Ag View Solutions.
“If we stay with this full-season hybrid, obviously the first thing that comes to mind is it’s going to be wetter corn,” Barron explains. “It’s going to be planted later, it’s fuller season, so we’re going to have bigger drying costs. This is going to be farm by farm, so you want to work real close with your seed provider to make sure you get that number dialed in as accurately as possible.”
Next, evaluate whether the new hybrid you are considering has the same yield potential as your original selection. “Am I giving up some yield?” Barron asks. “If you’re giving up some yield, we have to make sure that we make that adjustment.”
Then decide whether the new hybrid has the same agronomic characteristics you need, such as stalk or root strength or a specialized disease package. “Are you giving any of those up with this second choice? If you are, that may equate to yield, it may equate to some other cost over here,” Barron says. “Maybe it’s a fungicide application that you have to do now that you didn’t have to do on the first one. Those are variables that you want to make sure you dial in the economics way before you make that decision.”
Want a copy of Barron’s free spreadsheet for analyzing whether to switch corn hybrids? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 319-533-5703.