In 2003, approximately 500,000 acres of corn was grown in Louisiana, slightly less than last year. Planting delays caused by lack of moisture was the main cause of the acreage decline primarily in central and south Louisiana.

Overall, it was a very successful crop year considering the growing conditions that prevailed. Yields ranged from 120 to 150 bushels an acre for dryland corn and 150 to 190 bushels an acre on irrigated ground. There were isolated reports of several fields cutting over 200 and some as high as 220 bushels per acre.

The LSU AgCenter crop demonstration program for corn was also successful and has generated some additional data points for use when making hybrid selections for 2004.

The crop demonstration program involved planting non-replicated strips of a single hybrid adjacent to other hybrids on a producer's farm and recording yield. Some demonstrations were replicated, however, and averaged across replications.

We also have other objectives, such as insecticide treatments, but most of the demonstrations involve yield assessments. In 2003, 14 corn hybrid yield demonstrations in 10 parishes were planted. In all, more than 60 hybrids were tested.

The data for respective hybrids that were generated from this program should be used as an additional tool with the recommended corn hybrid information that will be available soon. The recommended hybrid list encompasses two years of replicated data over several locations.

The accompanying list of 20 hybrids includes hybrids that were tested in at least three and a maximum of eight locations with an average of 5.3 locations per hybrid this year. Many different agronomic variables such as nitrogen rate, soil type, plant population, weed control, rainfall, irrigation and several other factors differed by locations among these hybrids.

These demonstrations were not replicated as well as having different inputs, therefore statistical conclusions cannot be drawn from them. The top 20 hybrids averaged 154 bushels an acre, with an average plot size of 0.75 acre when averaged over all locations.

Several corn hybrids in this list were recommended by the LSU AgCenter for the 2003 growing season. Many will be on the recommended hybrid list for 2004.

Top 20 hybrids with yields and number of locations planted and harvested
Hybrid Yield (Bu/A) Locations
Pioneer 31B13 166.5 6
Pioneer 32R25 162.7 8
DynaGro 5515 162.3 3
DeKalb 69-70 YG 162.2 6
DynaGro 58K22RR 161.8 3
Golden Acres 2995RR 161.1 4
Dekalb 69-72RR 160.4 5
Terral 2160 Bt 157.8 4
Pioneer 32P67 157.8 3
DeKalb 66-80RR 155.9 4
DeKalb 697 155.0 6
DeKalb 69-71YGRR 153.9 8
Terral 2130 153.4 6
Northrup King N83-N5 153.0 7
DynaGro 5518 152.1 5
Garst 8288 146.6 5
Terral 26BR10 145.3 8
Terral 2140RR 143.7 3
Terral 2140 139.7 7
Garst 8230 137.4 5
Mean Across Demos 154.4 5.3

Booking and requesting seed for the 2004 growing season is now under way. We hope this information will aid producers and agribusiness personnel in this process.

When selecting a corn hybrid, it is important to remember several points. Most of these corn hybrids are medium maturity, which means that they will mature within 111 to 120 days from planting. In addition to this point, it is always good to plant at least a couple of different hybrids to allow for efficient combine use amd to evaluate different genetics on your farm.

All of these hybrids are strong, durable and have excellent yield potential over a wide range of growing conditions. They will make up most of the corn acreage in Louisiana for 2004.

I have been discussing the benefits of hybrid/variety selection over the past few months and feel it is an “input” that needs more attention. Variety or hybrid selection is one facet of production agriculture that producers can control. So why not spend a little more time evaluating the data and making a good decision?


David Y. Lanclos is the soybean, corn and grain sorghum specialist at LSU AgCenter. dlanclos@agcenter.lsu.edu.