3. Plant hybrids with good standability to minimize stalk lodging (stalk breakage below the ear). This is particularly important in areas where stalk rots are perennial problems, or where field drying is anticipated. If a grower has his own drying facilities and is prepared to harvest at relatively high moisture levels (>25%), then standability and fast drydown rates may be somewhat less critical as selection criteria. There are some hybrids that have outstanding yield potential, but may be prone to lodging problems under certain environmental conditions after they reach harvest maturity.

Although stalk lodging was generally limited in 2012, some fields experienced green snap (aka brittlesnap) injury due to strong winds from June 30 to July 1. In the OCPT, there was considerable variability among hybrids for green snap damage. Green snap is relatively rare in Ohio. However, since green snap may result in stalk breakage near or at the base of plants, yield losses can be appreciable. Corn growers should consult with their seed dealer on hybrid sensitivity to green snap.

4. Select hybrids with resistance and/or tolerance to stalk rots, foliar diseases and ear rots. Consult the Ohio Field Crops Diseases web page for the most common disease problems of corn in Ohio. In recent years, several diseases have adversely affected the corn crop - including northern corn leaf blight, gray leaf spot, Stewart’s bacterial leaf blight, and Gibberella and Diplodia ear rots. Corn growers should obtain information from their seed dealer on hybrid reactions to specific diseases that have caused problems or that have occurred locally.

5. Never purchase a hybrid without consulting performance data. Results of state, company and county replicated hybrid performance trials should be reviewed before purchasing hybrids. Because weather conditions are unpredictable, the most reliable way to select superior hybrids is to consider performance during the last year and the previous year over as wide a range of locations and climatic conditions as possible. Hybrids that consistently perform well across a range of environmental conditions, including different soil and weather conditions, have a much greater likelihood of performing well the next year, compared to hybrids that have exhibited more variable performance. To assess a hybrid’s yield averaged across multiple Ohio test sites consult the Combined Regional Summary of Hybrid Performance tables.