Seed News

F.I.R.S.T. Corn Yield Results in Red River Valley

Date Posted: September 10, 2012

(Sept. 10/MinnesotaFarmGuide) -- Corn seed test results for the Red River Valley are being offered this fall from F.I.R.S.T. – the Farmer’s Independent and Research of Seed Technologies organization that provides independent and non-biased corn and soybean testing.

Mark Tollefson, F.I.R.S.T. corn manager for northwest Minnesota and eastern North Dakota, noted that harvest is approaching quickly in 2012. Tollefson completes research-style planting, growing season documentation and harvest data collection at farmer-member plots.

“The corn in the southern Red River Valley is doing really well,” said Tollefson, from New Richland, Minn. “The yield potential is good.”

He is testing over 90 Roundup Ready corn hybrids in 2012 at six locations. Maturity tests range from 85 to 90 days and 90 to 94 days.

In the Moorhead, Minn., region, Growing Degree Days from April 30 through Aug. 26 reached 2,261 units – 288 units more than the five-year average. Rainfall from April 1 through Aug. 26 was 2.56 inches below normal.

“Every farmer I’ve talked to has caught some timely rains,” said Tollefson. “They are pretty satisfied this year with their crops.”

The corn remained green in late August. He expected most farmers to lift sugarbeets and combine soybeans ahead of corn harvest.

“Everyone got the corn planted pretty timely, and they are talking harvest at the end of September – a little earlier than in years past,” he said. “It’s dry, so everything is maturing ahead of schedule. Things are looking good, for a good harvest.”

Early season 2012 F.I.R.S.T. corn (107-112 day) in Otoe County in southeast Nebraska demonstrated how difficult the 2012 growing season was in that area. The top 30 hybrids yielded 61-83 bushels per acre in 2012 vs. 141.6-169.5 bushels per acre in 2011.

“This is all drought-stressed corn so it was very poor yielding,” said Tollefson, adding that farmers in Indiana and Missouri hoped to harvest soon. “Harvest is underway in a lot of areas.”

In the Red River Valley, F.I.R.S.T. 2011 Better Hybrids yielded an average of 141.5-167 per bushel. The average seeding rates in 2011 ranged from 30,100 to 34,000 seeds per acre, with similar seeding rates in 2012.

“One or two farmers in the Red River Valley have been saying they have a really good crop,” said Tollefson. “They are really pleased.”

To follow along with the F.I.R.S.T. tests shortly after harvest, visit for more information.

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