Addressing four trailers full of field day attendees, Phil Michener stands on a platform overlooking clean plots of bright yellow, shucked-but-still-on-the-stalk ears of corn.
“What you see before you is the culmination of genetic power,” said Michener, Terral Seed corn breeder and agronomic services director. “We’re looking at a product line-up ranging from 111 to 118 days. I feel it is unrivaled by any other company selling corn seed in the South. When you look at this top-to-bottom, Terral Seed has put together a line-up that absolutely allows you to maximize the profitability on your acre.”
Terral Seed has “an understanding of the problems we run into while growing crops in the South. We know what products need to go on specific acres.”
Growers should remember that Terral Seed is a small company in the grand scheme. “We don’t watch the ticker on Wall Street. We measure our success as a company through your success on the turn-row. If you can make yield, be profitable and keep doing what you love, then we can keep on doing what we love: providing top-end genetics without rival in the South.”
• REV 21HR21, REV 23HR41, REV 24HR51 brands
A few years ago, when Michener came to Terral “we had a pretty good line-up and lots of people were growing 115- to 120-day products. But I kept hearing, ‘Man, I wish I had something a bit earlier to work with.’”
Michener began studying the possibilities. He found that, “yeah, you can have earlier corn and it’ll grow — but it’s 20 bushels behind everything. That’s because the later genetics perform better in a Southern environment.
“We set out trying to be yield-competitive. But that was pie in the sky.”
Michener focused on narrowing the gap. “And I think Terral — with these three new REV brand products — have closed that gap by about half. So, rather than the genetics leaving you 20 bushels behind, you’re looking at (a lag) of 8 to 10 bushels, now. That’s certainly progress but I’m not going to lie and tell you these will be yield-competitive with the later-maturing products year-in and year-out. They won’t.”
Note: REV brand seed is distributed by Terral Seed. REV is a registered trademark of Pioneer Hi-Bred.
• The REV 25HR39 brand family comprised of REV 25R19, REV 25HR39 and REV 25RE79 brands
Terral Seed is a “firm believer in providing you with the trait package that you want. We don’t necessarily push our will for a trait package. We want to leave that power in your hands and let you decide what level of herbicide and insect protection traits you need.”
As an example of what is available, the HR39 brand family can be ordered as a Roundup product, as a double-stack product and a triple-stack product. Farmers in east Mississippi and the upper Mid-South have particularly taken a shine to the HR39 brand products, said Michener. “It works really well in those areas.”
Moving farther South, looking at the family as a 114- or 115-day product, “it’s as good as any in the marketplace. It has a lot of yield potential, nice grain quality, good plant height, and good structure. We see a lot of 59- and some 60-pound test weights.”
However, the family puts yield on a bit differently. “The cobs are 14 and 16 around instead of 16 and 18 around. But the cobs are really long and that’s where it builds yield.”
• The REV 25HR49 brand family comprised of REV 25R29, REV 25HR49 and REV 26RE59 brands.
This family, too, is available from Terral as a Roundup product, a double-stack product and a triple-stack product.
“Anyone familiar with Terral TV25BR23, I look for REV 25HR49 brand to replace a lot of those acres. We’ve been able to make step changes in performance and test weight. But it still has the ability to handle adverse conditions, particularly in heavy ground.”
For those on less traditional cotton/corn ground — “maybe on rice/bean ground — the REV 25HR49 brand provides you a corn option.”
Michener also likes REV 25HR49 brand in yield environments that are typically sub-140-bushel.
“I know we don’t like to talk about low yields, but they’re out there. The REV 25HR49 brand has the ability to hold up on the top end of tough environments. It’s a nice product and worth a look. I’ve seen it make 235-bushel corn on lighter ground that’s well irrigated and tended.”
REV 26R60 brand “is grown largely north and west of us. This one is a refuge product that’s absolutely yield competitive with most of the stacks in the industry.
“For those of you on good, productive ground in the Mid-South, (consider) REV 26HR70 brand. It has a lot of yield potential. I’ve walked a fair bit of this in northeast Arkansas and it has a lot of yield in it — makes a lot of wide, flat kernels.”
REV 26HR50 brand “has sort of become a flagship product. This one, in particular, has a lot of yield potential in it. I walked a field of it a few weeks ago and — even though I hesitate to say such things too often — it looked like it had 260-bushel, maybe 265-bushel, yield potential. That’s a lot of corn. It has a lot of length and girth. I’ve pulled plots off this one with 61- and 62-pound test weights. It’s almost silly how hard the kernel is.”
Those farming up and down the Mississippi River and the Tennessee River Valley should take a hard look at the REV 28HR29 brand.
“What you’re seeing in most of the products are semi-flex and flex-ear types and that continues in the HR29 brand. But most of the semi-flex and flex-ear types are at 32,000 at the maximum plant population.”
For any of growers in a twin-row situation “where you’re dropping 34,000 to 36,000 kernels, (REV 28HR29 brand) has late-season stalk integrity. It is able to hold up and handle those sorts of plant populations. You’ll be able to run a combine through it without having to pick anything up.”
• The HR20 brand family comprised of REV 28R10 and REV 28HR20 brands
At the end of every year, Michener compiles mounds of research data. “As I compiled everything from 2009, this was the best hybrid in the industry, basically, across the seven states of the South. It performs in 120-bushel environments and 240-bushel environments.”
• The REV 28R30/REV 28HR30 brands family
“To me, this is kind of our ‘sleeper’ product. When you see it in the field, it sometimes doesn’t impress. Then, the combine rolls through and it draws attention. The ears hold tight to the plant and the leaves wrap around the ears so it just doesn’t look that impressive.”
For growers dealing with glyphosate-resistant weed issues, Michener reminds that “when you go to a Herculex corn product, you’re getting the LibertyLink trait, as well.”