Corn Seeding Solutions | Corn Seed Guide | UFA Co-operative Ltd.

Corn Seed Varieties

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Alberta growers have responded to the increasing demand of livestock feed by producing more silage and feed grains. UFA works with leading corn seed companies to bring you the best corn genetic varieties available for 2019.

Tips from the Field

Why use a corn inoculant?

Western Canada — What makes a good grain corn hybrid?

Why use a corn inoculant?

Seed inoculants have been gaining a lot of attention in recent years as trial results show they can enhance crop performance and even yield increases.

Corn growers in Alberta are no exception and are successfully using inoculants to improve macro and micronutrient uptake in their plants and improve crop performance across a variety of soil types and growing conditions. Inoculants help all crops, not just corn, improve their nutrient carrying capacity, ensuring seed gets off to a strong start, improves shoot and root growth and maximizes yields.

So if using one inoculant is so good, what happens if you stack them – that is, apply more than one inoculant product to the seed? That’s something Acceleron BioAg™ has been looking into with two of their products, JumpStart® and QuickRoots®.

“Research into stacking these two products was the biggest push in our testing program this year,” says Jon Treloar, technical agronomist with the Acceleron BioAg™ brand. “In 2017 we tested a combination of the two products across crops in over 100 field scale trials and found a consistent, generous yield bump. In 2018 we conducted over 150 grower-led trials to demonstrate that those results could be replicated.”

“In 2017 we tested a combination of the two products across crops in over 100 field scale trials and found a consistent, generous yield bump.”

— Jon Treloar, Technical Agronomist, Acceleron BioAg™

QuickRoots is available as both a wettable powder and in a planter box formulation. It contains two organisms, a bacteria and a fungus, that work together to free up key nutrients in the soil. In 2017 it was tested in field scale trials on silage corn in southern Alberta, with a significant yield increase in each trial.

JumpStart is a well-established product that increases phosphate efficiency in the plant. “We are excited to show growers the impact of combining these two products to get the best use of your nutrients,” says Treloar.

UFA carries a range of inoculant products formulated for all crops. Talk to your CAM to find out more.

How it Works

1

The biologicals Bacillus amyloliquefaciens and Trichoderma virens have the ability to release phosphate in the soil not readily available to the plant.

2

Improved phosphate availability can lead to expanded root volume, which enhances nitrogen and potassium uptake.

3

This ultimately can enable optimal plant growth and increased yield potential.

Quickroots Diagram Quickroots Diagram

T. virens = Trichoderma virens

B. a. = Bacillus amyloliquefaciens

P = Phosphate

Ca = Calcium

Western Canada — What makes a good grain corn hybrid?

Many have been growing corn for silage and grazing purposes for years, but there have not been many hybrids with early enough relative maturity (RM) to be harvested as grain corn in western Canada. This is now a very real possibility for many. Which brings the question to light: What makes a good grain corn hybrid?

Throughout the growing season, there are noticeable characteristics that a hybrid with high yield potential will possess. Key factors that make the perfect grain corn hybrid:

  • Suitable relative maturity for the area
  • Strong emergence
  • Stalk and root strength
  • Very good disease resistance
  • Excellent test weight
Emergence

You want to see even emergence across the entire field. Late emerging plants are often competition for early-emerged and healthy plants and don’t produce as well. Often, late or uneven emergence is usually more of a planter problem than a seed problem, which reiterates the importance of regularly servicing and calibrating seeding equipment.

Greensnap

Greensnap occurs when the plant breaks off below the ear due to wind or storms. Some hybrids could also snap above the ear which is often mistaken for greensnap; but, if it happens above the ear, growers can still recoup some yield although it would be lessened due to the lack of leaf surface to feed the ear. In high risk areas, stalk strength is an important characteristic to consider.

Stalk Strength

Some hybrids have more lignified stalks and thus stand better. This is a desirable trait in grain corn because it allows the product to be left out longer in the fall for more drying and makes it less imperative to harvest early, but can be a detriment in silage corn due to digestibility of lignins and their lack of contribution to overall feed value.

Root Strength

Like stalk strength, having strong roots keeps hybrids standing. Weaker roots are more susceptible to goosenecking (the term used when a plant is blown over and then curves towards the light and grows upwards).

Maturity

A hybrid should be the proper maturity for the area it is to be planted in, in order to get as much production as possible out of the available heat while still reaching black layer and drying down before frost. For example: A 76 RM hybrid planted in Southwestern Ontario will not use all of the heat available to it and will mature well before it should (and thus yield less). Likewise a 104 RM hybrid planted in Western Canada will never reach black layer because it will not get enough heat before the first frost kills the plant.

Test Weight

Test weight is an important factor for “early” grain corn. Corn kernels have two types of starch: floury starch (endosperm) is what comprises the bulk of the starch in the cap; vitreous starch is what comprises the remainder. The test weight refers to the weight of a kernel (measured in g/L or lbs/bu).

Test weight is more critical for early corn because any corn that gets hit by a frost before black layer may not continue to fill the kernel and test weight is therefore reduced. As insurance for early corn, planting a hybrid with high test weight potential is desirable.

Disease and Insect Tolerance

Several diseases can impact a corn crop in any given year, some of the most common include: Northern Leaf Blight, Goss’ Wilt, Grey Leaf Spot, various stalk rots and various ear rots. Hybrids having a higher tolerance to any of these diseases will perform better than those without tolerance if the disease hits. (Source: DEKALB Canada)

Talk With Us

Our Customer Account Managers (CAMs) know your local conditions and understand what will work for your operation. They can help make the right choices when looking for the top yielding hybrids with the disease packages, maturity ratings and quality characteristics you need for your farm.

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