Planting a new corn crop may still months away, but consideration of available varieties can be done at any time. With so many factors and corn varieties to consider, it's difficult to winnow down a “best of” list, says Erick Larson. But the Mississippi Extension corn specialist says there are some varieties that stand out.

“Data from these varieties comes from test plots (from several locations around Mississippi) and preliminary results from harvest this fall,” says Larson. “So this list may change a bit once complete data is gathered. But I feel confident that the hybrids listed will be good ones to consider planting. Most of them will be good under irrigation and are listed in order of yield potential.”

Among the standouts:

  • Pioneer 32D99: “This has a 118-day maturity, should have good drought tolerance and average stalk strength. It's been in the top-yielding couple of varieties in the state for the last two years.”
  • Pioneer 31G98: “This has 117-day maturity, good drought tolerance, and average stalk strength. Yield potential is great.”
  • DeKalb's DK697, DKC69-70, DKC69-71, and DKC69-72: “All four varieties have the same genetics with different technologies added to them. DK697 is a conventional hybrid. DKC69-70 contains the YieldGard/BT technology. DKC69-71 is a stacked gene hybrid with Roundup Ready and YieldGard corn borer protections. DKC69-72 is a straight Roundup Ready hybrid. All four are about 119-day maturities with good drought tolerance, good stalk strength and excellent yield potential.”
  • Pioneer 3223: “This is a long-time, standby hybrid in Mississippi. It isn't in our trials this year, but is still probably one of the most popular hybrids in the state. It deserves to be on the ‘top of’ list. This 116-day variety has excellent drought tolerance — better than all those mentioned so far. Its main weakness is its stalk strength is below average. It has excellent yield potential.”
  • Genesis 3214YG: “This 115-day variety has excellent yield potential and good stalk strength. We haven't yet evaluated it under dryland conditions. It contains YieldGard protection.”
  • Terral TV2140nRR: “This Roundup Ready hybrid has 114-day maturity. It has good yield potential, good drought stress tolerance and average stalk strength.”
  • Terral 2160: “This 116-day hybrid has YieldGard corn borer protection. Yield potential is excellent on this one, and it has good stress tolerance and average stalk strength.”

Other hybrids Larson would consider that are “relatively new or should be considered for inclusion in the list”:

  • Pioneer 31G66: “We have just one year of data on this 118-day hybrid. It didn't yield quite as well as other top hybrids, but did well. It has excellent drought tolerance and good stalk strength.”
  • Garst 8288: “This variety has been in tests for a couple of years. It's a solid variety that's well above average.”
  • Southern States or FFR's 736BT: “This variety is sold under either brand. It's a 112-day hybrid with YieldGard protection, has good stress tolerance but below-average stalk strength.”

e-mail: dbennett@primediabusiness.com