Submitted to: Crop Management
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/23/2007
Publication Date: 10/5/2007
Citation: Bruns, H.A., Abbas, H.K., Mascagni, Jr, H.J., Carwright, R.D., Allen, F. 2007. Evaluations of Short-Season Corn Hybrids in the Mid South USA. Crop Management. doi:10.1094/CM-2007-1005-01-RS Interpretive Summary: Growing corn involves employing production and marketing strategies that maximize profits and reduces risk. Producing short-season hybrids as part of their overall acreage could permit producers to begin marketing corn grain earlier when supplies are low and prices are at their highest. Short-season hybrids could also help spread out harvesting and allow more grain to be harvested at ideal moisture levels, with reduced losses due to lodging, dropped ears and cracked grain due to excessive field drying. Most of 16 short-season hybrids produced in four Mid South states in 2002 and 2003 had grain yields similar to two popular full-season hybrids. Some deficiencies in grain quality were observed for some short-season hybrids at one location. Also, a couple of short-season hybrids grown at one location had high aflatoxin levels( a toxic compound produced by mold on corn). However, aflatoxin levels for most of the short-season hybrids at the other locations were below the 20 ppb maximum allowable level set by the US Food and Drug Administration. Further research into growing short-season hybrids in the Mid South is warranted to reduce risks and harvest losses as well as increase profits.
Technical Abstract: Short-season corn (Zea mays L.) hybrids could allow Mid South USA producers to spread some of their risks and begin marketing grain when supplies are low and prices high. This experiment examined the production potential of 16 short-season hybrids and compared them to two full-season hybrids commonly produced in the Mid South in 2002 and 2003. Individual experiments were conducted at Stoneville, MS; Colt, AR; St. Joseph, LA; both years and Knoxville, TN in 2003. All plantings utilized a randomized complete block design replicated four times, irrigated, fertilized according to yield goals of 12 Mg ha-1, and weeds controlled with herbicides and cultivation. Grain yield, aflatoxin, and fumonisin contamination were collected at all locations. Growing Degree Units (GDU 10’s) at anthesis and physiological maturity, grain bulk density, and kernel weight were collected at Stoneville, MS; St. Joseph, LA; and Knoxville, TN. Most of the short-season hybrids produced comparable yields to the two full-season hybrids though grain bulk densities for most of them at St. Joseph, LA were less than at other locations. Differences in mycotoxin levels were only observed at Stoneville, MS. Questions exist about short-season hybrids either requiring or just acquiring more GDU 10’s when grown in the Mid South as opposed to their adapted environments. Further research into the production of short-season hybrids in the Mid South is warranted along with possibly development of such germplasm for the area.