The cost of farming is rising, so make sure you're getting the most for your money when it comes to seed. With so many choices out there, let Corn & Soybean Digest help. We asked major seed companies for their heavy-hitting hybrids for 2009, and have compiled them for you. Check out these top picks for the 2009 growing season.

This guide should be used as a starting point for selecting hybrids for next year. Be sure to also consider university, independent and company trial data when making your decisions.

2009 HYBRIDS KEY

Hybrids are listed alphabetically by company, grouped into three relative maturity (RM) zones:

EARLY SEASON (75-104 days)

MID-SEASON (105-112 days)

LATE SEASON (113-120 days)

Most herbicide and insect treatments are abbreviated. They include:

Agrisure Corn Borer (CB)

Agrisure Glyphosate Tolerant (GT)

Agrisure Rootworm (RW)

Clearfield (CL)

Herculex 1 (HX1)

Herculex XTRA (HXX)

Liberty Link (LL)

Roundup Ready (RR)

Roundup Ready 2 (RR2)

Vectran Triple (VT3)

YieldGard Corn Borer (YGCB)

YieldGard Plus (YGPL)

YieldGard VT Triple (YGVT3)

Editor's Note: This list isn't intended to be comprehensive. Companies included on this list were identified through Corn & Soybean Digest's 2008 Reader Profile. The top companies named by growers are listed.

EARLY SEASON

AGRIGOLD

  • Consistent girthy ear style with fast drydown
  • Exceptional yield, profit potential in primary zone
  • Consistent yield levels across all environments

A6189 — 94-day RM (VT3, RR)

  • Consistent performance on better soils at higher populations
  • Excellent grain quality with high test weight
  • Exceptional yield, profit potential

A6149 — 90-day RM (VT3, Conventional)

  • Excellent yield-to-moisture ratio with very good drydown
  • Adapted to various soils, environments
  • Outstanding yield potential for maturity

CROPLAN

3514VT3 — 95-day RM (VT3)

  • VT3 version of high-yielding 3555, for high-rainfall, high-moisture environment of Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio
  • High top-end yield when placed on best soils with aggressive fertility
  • Excellent roots, stalks, seedling vigor; very good test weight, drydown
  • Fixed-ear type requiring higher populations to realize top-end yield potential

4338VT3 — 100-day RM (VT3)

  • Uses outstanding, high-yielding 5338 male combined with new female
  • Cross of female used in 3724 with female in 491, 5905; sister to 4015 female
  • Strong yield, drydown, standability, agronomics; very good disease tolerance to GLS, NCLB, SCLB, common rust; above-average tolerance to Goss' Wilt
  • Medium plant height, ear placement; attractive hybrid with dark-green leaves

4924VT3 — 104-day RM (VT3)

  • New 6226 male and female in 3624, 3724 for outstanding yield, plant health
  • Short plant with medium ear placement; excellent staygreen, early flowering, roots, stalks; very good test weight
  • Fixed-ear type requiring medium-high to higher populations
  • Excellent alterative to the fast-die/fast-dry genetics at maturity; late-harvest hybrid

CROW'S

1929VT3 — 99-day RM (YGVT3/RR2)

  • High yield potential for average to high management conditions
  • Nice staygreen, intactness, Goss' Wilt scores
  • Adapts east to west across Corn Belt
  • Moves south well into 110-115 RM areas

1523VT3 — 86-day RM (YGVT3/RR2)

  • Strong fall finisher
  • Excellent yield potential, test weight, grain quality for northern Corn Belt
  • Good staygreen, late-season appearance
  • Nice option for corn-corn

1466R — 85-day RM (RR2)

  • Good yields, stalks, roots for northern Corn Belt
  • Prefers medium-high to higher populations
  • Good choice for early planting, reduced tillage
  • Adapts to all crop rotations, including corn-corn

DAIRYLAND

Stealth-9789 — 89-day RM (YGVT3)

  • Versatile, widely adapted hybrid providing dependable yields
  • Excellent early plant vigor, stimulating terrific root, stalk development
  • Strong drought tolerance rating helps deliver solid grain production in stress-production years
  • Best yields attained with high plant populations

Stealth-6799 — 99-day RM (RR)

  • Girthy-eared, high-yielding genetics excel at high plant population
  • Outstanding early plant vigor
  • Excellent staygreen, drydown; high test weight
  • Wide soil adaptation including no-till, corn-corn environments

Stealth-8404 — 104-day (northern)/102-day (central) RM (HXX)

  • Strong yield capability; can be placed in wide range of soil types
  • Tremendous early plant vigor jumpstarts hybrid quickly after planting
  • Very strong root, stalk development
  • Excellent grain drydown