Evaluating Flex Characteristics of DEKALB® Brand Corn Products
Recommended seeding rates of new DEKALB® brand corn products may be affected by the ability to “flex” depending on growing conditions.
Flex-ear corn products have the ability to adjust ear size depending on growing conditions and to yield well at lower populations, but yields generally plateau at higher populations, whereas fixed-ear products generally show increased yield as seeding rate increases.
An understanding of a product’s ability to flex is important when setting the ideal agronomic population and is useful when making replant decisions on tough stands.
The objective of this trial was to evaluate four DEKALB® brand corn products for their response to seeding rate to provide guidance to growers about how flex should be considered when planting DEKALB® brand corn products.
Research Site Details
Seeding rates ranged from 10,000 to 45,000 seeds/acre, planted in increments of 5,000 seeds/acre.
All agronomic practices were per local standards.
240 lb/acre of actual nitrogen was applied.
Plots were approximately 0.1 acres each or 4 rows by 200 feet long.
Because it is difficult to quantitatively measure fixed and flex characteristics, yield was used as a general means to evaluate these traits.
All data were collected and corrected to 15.5% moisture.
Understanding the Results
Final populations averaged 80% of stand targets.
This is lower than expected due to the harsh early-season conditions in 2018.
What Does This Mean for Your Farm?
Understanding the flex characteristics of a corn product provides insight into how it will respond to different seeding rates and to stress during the growing season.
Standability for each product should be carefully weighed against potential yield responses and seed cost before making the decision to increase seeding rate.
Growers should discuss with their DEKALB® brand seed representative how a corn product of interest performs under different growing conditions and management practices.