Hybrid corn delivers high yields
HIGH yields were achieved from a herbicide-resistant corn hybrid grown on Warwick grain grower Philip Crothers property.
Mr Crothers grows corn each year and last season had the new Pioneer hybrid P1813-IT corn as part of the overall plant.
A weigh-bin yield taken from part of the paddock for the RASQ competition produced a yield of 12.067 tonnes per hectare from P1813-IT.
It would have been an absolute disaster if I'd planted normal corn at the same time.
It was a very good result in a season in which rainfall was not excessive, although the crop benefited greatly from a full profile of moisture at the start and conditions that were not overly hot.
Mr Crothers said the flooding at the start of 2011 provided the moisture for the soil, but also brought in a huge array of weed seeds.
"I knew we needed to be on the front foot with weed control," he said.
As part of the strategy for weed control, three herbicide-tolerant corn hybrids were planted and the Lightning herbicide used as a post-emergent option.
Pressure from the weeds in-crop was immense with the Lightning herbicide a handy post-emergent tool to keep the weeds from out-competing the seedling corn.
"It would have been an absolute disaster if I'd planted normal corn at the same time."
Such weeds as Johnson grass and other grasses have become a major problem in the wake of the flooding and herbicide options are a crucial part of the path forward.
The corn was planted in September as single skip into 30 inch (75cm) row spacings with the innovative spacing producing high yields.
"I'm convinced that when things do get tough the corn can forage out into that gap," Mr Crothers said.
An established plant population of 34,000 plants per hectare was achieved with nutrition for the crop provided up-front.
The P1813-IT went particularly well and produced an average yield of just over 7.5 tonnes a hectare.
"We ended up with about one and a half cobs per plant," Mr Crothers said.
He said the grain quality of P1813-IT was particularly good and it looked as if it could have a place as a gritting corn option.
In recent seasons there have been issues in the region with Diplodia ear rot in corn, which caused dead grain to appear in the sample and had an effect on yield.
Mr Crothers said there was much less incidence of Diplodia ear rot in the P1813-IT hybrid when compared to another option grown on the property.
"That will be crucial if it gets to be a gritting variety," Mr Crothers said.
The September plant is quite early for the district and the crop was hit by a few late frosts in the early stages of its development.
Mr Crothers said some of the corn was set back by the frosts, but it didn't seem to make any difference to the eventual yield.