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UW corn trials rewrite record book – Audio

Corn sets yield records in Wisconsin

Joe Lauer, Extension Corn Agronomist
Department of Agronomy
UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
(608) 263-7438 (608) 262-1390

3:02 – Total Time
0:13 – Wisconsin to have solid corn yields
0:34 – Hybrid trials rewrite record book
0:54 – Corn responded to favorable season
1:24 – Corn yields climb each season
1:45 – Yield increases likely to continue
2:20 – Advice for choosing corn hybrids
2:53 – Lead out
Sevie Kenyon: Wisconsin and its record corn yields, we’re visiting today with Joe Lauer, Department of Agronomy, University of Wisconsin-Madison/Extension in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and I’m Sevie Kenyon. Joe, Wisconsin corn growers had a pretty good season?

Joe Lauer: I think in general, yields are going to come in fairly high. The USDA is forecasting a record year at 165 bushels per acre. We saw that as well in our hybrid trials. We basically re-wrote the record book, 15 new records in the top 50.

Sevie Kenyon: Joe, describe a couple of those specific records.

Joe Lauer: In our hybrid trials we set a new location record of 305 bushels to the acre, we had a couple of hybrids over 300 bushels and these would be replicated means so they would be the average of three plots at a particular location.

Sevie Kenyon: Joe what came together this season to create these records?

Joe Lauer: One of the things, very characteristic of this year, is that we did not deviate from the 30 year normal for temperature or precip really at any time during the season in the north as well as in the south. Because usually we’re dealing with something that is either too hot or too cold, or too wet or too dry and our recommendations held up very well.

Sevie Kenyon: Joe step back and look at corn yields here more broadly over time, what kind of story do you have there?

Joe Lauer: This kind of just continues a trend of yield progress throughout the country. If you look at USDA figures, on average, we are gaining about 1.9 bushels per acre per year. In Wisconsin it is a little bit lower than that, as a state at about 1.7 bushels.

Sevie Kenyon: Joe, is there anything that could limit this progress?

Joe Lauer: World record for corn production now is over 500 bushels to the acre. It was set in Georgia last year. The physiological record that we could expect was over 600 bushels to the acre. So we’re knocking on the door, we’re getting close to what was physiologically modeled years ago, now we’re over 500 bushels, so I don’t see it slowing down, there will continue to be yield progress with corn into the future.

Sevie Kenyon: Joe, any advice for farmers going out to chose hybrids this fall for next year?

Joe Lauer: In Extension we have for years recommended using multi-location averages and consistent performance. That hasn’t changed but in the transgenic year we have added three more principles. Every hybrid has to stand on its own in terms of its performance, and they’ve got to pull their own weight. Pay attention to those costs because that can very quickly evaporate any profit that we can predict. Again, buy the traits you need. Many fields in Wisconsin may or may not need some of the traits that are currently deployed commercially.

Sevie Kenyon: We’ve been visiting with Joe Lauer Department of Agronomy University of Wisconsin-Madison/Extension in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and I’m Sevie Kenyon.