In 2017, 205 corn hybrids representing 25 commercial brands were evaluated in the Ohio Corn Performance Test (OCPT). Four tests were established in the Southwestern/West Central/Central (SW/WC/C) region and three tests were established in the Northwestern (NW) and North Central/Northeastern (NC/NE) regions (for a total of ten test sites statewide). Hybrid entries in the regional tests were planted in either an early or a full season maturity trial. These test sites provided a range of growing conditions and production environments.
The 2017 Ohio growing season was characterized by one of the warmest springs on record (the month of April was the warmest on record). Precipitation at test sites in April was near normal but 1 to 4 inches above normal at most test sites in May and June. Temperatures in July were near normal but rainfall was considerably above normal at most sites especially those in Northwest, Southwest, West Central, and Central Ohio. Rainfall at the Hebron site was 12 inches above normal whereas that at Wooster it was slightly less than one inch above normal. The impact of drier than normal conditions in August and September were mitigated by below average temperatures. Foliar diseases and insect pests were generally not a major factor. However, rust, primarily common rust, was evident at several locations. Warm, dry conditions during the latter half of September through mid-October promoted crop maturation, which was important for late plantings and dry down, but persistent rains in November delayed harvest of late planted sites.
Despite excessive rainfall, which resulted in planting delays at several sites, as well as periods of dry weather during grain fill, OCPT corn yields generally exceeded those of recent years. Averaged across hybrid entries in the early and full season tests, yields were 268 bu/A in the Southwestern/West Central/Central region, 235 bu/A in the Northwestern region, and 233 in the North Central/Northeastern region. Yields at individual test sites, averaged across hybrid entries in the early and full season tests, ranged from 195 bu/A at Hoytville to 283 bu/A at Hebron. Lodging was largely absent across sites except at Van Wert and Upper Sandusky where some hybrids lodged as a result of heavy rains and strong winds in early November. Performance data for Washington Court House in the SW region and Bucyrus (Full Season) in the NE region are not presented due to variable field conditions that resulted in erratic stands, uneven growth and inconsistent yields.
Tables 1 and 2 provide an overview of 2017 hybrid performance in the early maturity and full season hybrid trials by region. Averages for grain yield and other measures of agronomic performance are indicated for each region. In addition, the range in regional test site averages is shown in parentheses. Complete results are available online at: http://oardc.osu.edu/corntrials/ . A bulletin containing the results, 2017 Ohio Corn Performance Test, is also published as an insert in Ohio’s Country Journal.
As you review 2017 test results, it’s important to keep the following in mind. Confidence in test results increases with the number of years and the number of locations in which the hybrid was tested. Avoid selecting a hybrid based on data from a single test site, especially if the site was characterized by abnormal growing conditions. Look for consistency in a hybrid's performance across a range of environmental conditions. Consider the table providing a “Combined regional summary of hybrid performance” which indicate the performance of hybrids common to eight statewide test sites and the six tests in western Ohio. Differences in grain moisture percentages among hybrids at harvest can provide a basis for comparing hybrid maturity. Yield, % stalk lodging, grain moisture, and other comparisons should be made between hybrids of similar maturity to determine those best adapted to your farm.