Corn growers have 11 new varieties to choose from when they’re making plans for 2019. Breeders are developing more short-season variety that are suited to a larger growing area. Pioneer Hi-Bred’s new ultra-early P6909R variety needs only 1950 Corn Heat Units, which could greatly expand the corn-growing region of Western Canada.
Here’s a list of new corn varieties on the market for the first time for spring 2019.
2288VT2P/RIB has an 82-day maturity rating and 2500 CHU. This hybrid has excellent yield stability across all environments and strong astress tolerance. It has excellent root strength with strong stalks and goss’s wilt tolerance. It has a high response to enhanced nitrogen management and should be kept in a relative maturity zone.
Corteva Agriscience: Pioneer Hi-Bred
P6909R: GM hybrid, 1950 CHU, excellent silage yield potential, ultra-early silage corn hybrid with strong agronomics; very good drought tolerance and stalk strength; good root strength and exceptional test weight. Higher silage yields than Pioneer hybrid 39F44.
P7455R: GM hybrid, grain corn. 9.5 bushel per acre increase versus a competitor corn hybrid across five large-scale plot locations in Western Canada. Average for goss’s wilt resistance. Excellent grain corn hybrid; very good test weight scores; excellent stalk and root strength; very good drought tolerance scores.
DKC29-89RIB (2275 CHU) is a new corn hybrid from the DEKALB brand. This hybrid has excellent root and stalk strength throughout the season. Though its flowering timing is late for the maturity, it dries down very quickly and has excellent harvest appearance.
LR 9972 GT (2125 CHU) is a 72-day ultra-early grain hybrid with, fast dry down, excellent grain quality and great vigour out of the ground.
LR 9976 VIP 3220 (2280 CHU) is a 76-day grain corn with rapid grain set up and fast dry down. This variety has short stature for less trash management, and is high yielding.
LR 99S77 RR (2310 CHU) is a 77-day silage-specific hybrid. It has a tall, bushy plant structure, and has slow dry down for a long harvest window. It flowers early, and is an excellend early silage choice.
LR 9980 VT2PRIB (2400 CHU) is an 80-day silage hybrid, bushy plant type. This variety has high feed nutrition value for dairy or beef, an excellent lodging score and vigour out of the ground.
LR 9983 VT2PRIB (2490 CHU) is an 83-day dual-purpose hybrid. This is a high-yielding full season grain with excellent bushel weight and great dry down. It has an excellent disease and health package.
LR 9090 VIP 3220 (2800 CHU) is a 90-day, very bushy wide-leafed silage hybrid. This variety has excellent feeding nutrition results. It is a flex ear type, very tall, for high tonnage.
MZ 1688DBR: (VT2P – 2300CHU/76RM) This is a top-yielding variety with excellent tolerance to goss’s wilt.
PV 61180 RIB is an exciting new yield leader with good disease tolerance, fast dry down and nice intactness. This Proven Seed corn hybrid is well suited to the 75 to 80 CRM growing zone across Western Canada. Available exclusively at Nutrien Ag Solutions.
PV 62282 RIB has strong yield potential under a wide range of growing conditions. Super early vigour and excellent roots make this an excellent multipurpose Proven Seed corn hybrid in grain, silage and grazing applications.
PV 61079 RIB is early to flower and has fast grain dry down allowing it to exhibit consistent performance across environments. Top yield and strong agronomics make this Proven Seed corn hybrid the perfect fit for many western Canadian acres.
TH6875 VT2P is a 2100 CHU (75RM) maturity hybrid. It’s a tall plant with great staygreen/plant health, test weight and is strong yielder. It can be used as both a grain and silage corn. It has open husks that provides excellent dry down, along with a nice ear size and height. It comes with an overall strong agronomic package.
TH6977 VT2P is a 2200 CHU (77RM) maturity hybrid. This grain corn has medium height with strong agronomics including good goss’s wilt and northern corn leaf blight tolerance. It performs best in the West and has good yield stability across variable soils.
TH6982 VT2P is a 2425 CHU (82RM) maturity hybrid. This grain corn has excellent yield potential along with great test weight, stalk strength and fast drydown. It comes a with a great disease tolerance package including goss’s wilt. It performs best on productive soils with higher plant populations.
Expanding the corn area
Dan Wright is Bayer’s corn and soybean portfolio lead for Canada. He’s been working with trait launches for most of his careers, and involved with the expansion of corn and soybeans in Western Canada for more than five years.
When new crops are introduced into an area where they haven’t been grown before, Wright says, “We really believe that it is our job at Bayer to test products in their local environment.” However, when any new crop is introduced, “there’s going to be ups and downs.”
Soybeans are a prime example of this. Acres expanded dramatically in “new” areas of the Canadian Prairies over the last couple of years and many new growers had good experiences with the crop. In 2016, Wright said, “it was an amazing crop and everyone wanted to grow them.” In 2017, there was huge growth in acreage. But the dry summer of 2018 was not idea for soybeans.
Wright compares this with the original growth of canola acreage when it was a new crop for Prairie growers. There were dramatic swings in acres between 1980 and 2001. When we’re introducing new crops, he says, it’s important to focus on the long term. “We need to help growers understand where the fit is.” Growers should look at historical weather patterns when they’re making decisions. “In some areas of southern Saskatchewan, soybeans are not going to be an every-year crop for you.” While there are times when areas are in a moist cycle and soybeans are an excellent fit, Wright says, “If you never get rains and you have to plant a crop with a one-in-20 change of moisture, you shouldn’t do that.”
Wright is excited about the expansion of corn acres in Western Canada. One hurdle has been the expense of equipment. Farmers who haven’t grown corn before will have to invest in a corn planter and a corn header for the combine. However, Wright says, “lots of growers have found ways to buy used corn heads and used planters to get into it.”
Wright is impressed by Western Canadian farmers’ willingness to take on risk. While all farmers have different risk levels, Wright’s experience has been that Western Canadian farmers are more willing to take on risks with new crops than farmers in Eastern Canada. In this area, he says, “I see growers trialling 80 to 150 acres, just to give it a whirl.”