2020 Ohio Corn Performance Test: Regional Overviews

In 2020, 125 corn hybrids representing 16 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 2020 growing season was extremely challenging.  The planting season started in mid-May with excellent soil moisture conditions in NW Ohio followed by flooding rains which reduced emergence and stands. Excessive May rainfall in Southern Ohio delayed planting until late May/early June (four of the ten OCPT test sites were planted from June 1 to June 6). Rainfall was extremely variable in June through August with part of the state well below average. The dry weather slowed crop development, but growth resumed after the late August rain events. The weather events throughout the summer led up to a crop that was very slow to dry down and delayed the start of harvest. Above average temperatures in November promoted the drying process and grain moistures dropped to a manageable level. Harvest started Oct. 24 and then rain and field conditions delayed harvest until Nov. 5th. Aside from two short rain delays, harvest continued nearly every day for 2 ½ weeks concluding on Nov. 23rd. Foliar diseases (Northern Corn Leaf Blight and Gray Leaf Spot) and ear rots, including Gibberrella and Diplodia, were observed at most OCPT sites but were generally present at low to moderate levels. Foliar fungicides were applied to six of the ten OCPT fields. Stalk lodging was most pronounced at the NW (except for Van Wert) and the NE/NC test sites with site averages for lodging ranging from about 10% at the Columbiana county test site to 30% at Hoytville.

Yields varied across the state depending on planting delays and rainfall patterns. Despite late planting dates and warmer and drier than normal conditions throughout most of the growing season, OCPT yields exceeded expectations. Averaged across hybrid entries in the early and full season tests, yields were 258 bu/A in the Southwestern/West Central/Central region, 209 bu/A in the Northwestern region, and 242 bu/A in the North Central/Northeastern region.  Yields at individual test sites, averaged across hybrid entries in the early and full season tests, ranged from 171 bu/A at Hoytville to 272 bu/A at Washington Court House, with a 294 bu/A average for the early season test at Greenville.   Although stalk lodging in the Northwestern and the North Central/Northeastern regions was greater than it has been in recent years, the impact of lodging on yield appeared limited.  Full season hybrid performance data for Hebron and Greenville in the Southwestern/West Central/Central region are not presented because excessive rainfall shortly after planting resulted in poor emergence and reduced stands.

Tables 1 and 2 provide an overview of 2020 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, 2020 Ohio Corn Performance Test, is also published as an insert in Ohio’s Country Journal.

As you review 2020 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 indicates the performance of hybrids common to eight statewide test sites and the five 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.

 

Table 1.   A regional overview of the early maturity 2020 Ohio Corn Performance Test.

 

Region

 

Entries

Grain Yield

(Bu/A)

Moisture

(%)

Lodging

(%)

Emergence

(%)

Final Stand

(plants/A)

Test Wt.

(lbs/bu)

SW/WC/C

43

257

(231-276)

20.6

(17.9-22.3)

0

(0-1)

93

(86-97)

33000

(28100-37100)

55.2

(53.2-58.5)

NW

33

205

(186-224)

21.9

(19.2-24.3)

18

(6-41)

93

(87-97)

33000

(28100-36700)

54.6

(50.7-57.5)

NE/NC

35

239

(217-263)

20.2

(18.3-22.3)

12

(3-42)

97

(92-99)

33900

(28700-36300)

54.7

(51.5-56.8)

 

 

Table 2.  A regional overview of the full season 2020 Ohio Corn Performance Test.

 

Region

 

Entries

Grain Yield

(Bu/A)

Moisture

(%)

Lodging

(%)

Emergence

(%)

Final Stand

(plants/A)

Test Wt.

(lbs/bu)

SW/WC/C

43

259

(237-276)

23.0

(20.8-26.8)

1

(0-4)

97

(93-99)

34200

(30200-37600)

54.7

(50.6-56.9)

NW

51

211

(193-231)

25.1

(23.1-28.1)

12

(2-27)

93

(90-97)

33900

(29000-36800)

52.3

(50.6-54.1)

NE/NC

43

245

(229-266)

23.1

(21.6-25.6)

13

(2-30)

97

(94-99)

35000

(29700-37600)

53.1

(51.4-54.8)

Crop Observation and Recommendation Network

C.O.R.N. Newsletter is a summary of crop observations, related information, and appropriate recommendations for Ohio crop producers and industry. C.O.R.N. Newsletter is produced by the Ohio State University Extension Agronomy Team, state specialists at The Ohio State University and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). C.O.R.N. Newsletter questions are directed to Extension and OARDC state specialists and associates at Ohio State.