December 2004
Field Crops 28.33-37

UW Organic Corn Hybrid/Variety Trial Results – 2004

J. G. Lauer, J. Posner, K.D. Kohn, P.J. Flannery and J. Hedtcke

PDF version

In 2004, the UW Corn Agronomy program conducted its first organic hybrid/variety trial for corn to give producers information on performance and characteristics of corn in a certified organic production system. The trials were conducted using approved organic production practices at two sites certified for organic production. Seed used for the trials was either produced organically or was untreated.

Organic production is defined as "a production system that is managed, in accordance with the Organic Food Production Act and Regulations (October 2002), to respond to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance and conserve biodiversity."

The organic system is defined as "a plan of management of an organic production operation that has been agreed to by the producer and the certifying agent and includes written plans concerning all aspects of agricultural production or handling described in the act and the regulations."

Materials and Methods

Trials were conducted at the UW Arlington ARS and the Michael Fields Institute (MFS). Trials at MFS were abandoned due to excessively wet and cool growing conditions.

Site: Arlington Research Station
Cooperator: Dwight Mueller
Experimental design: RCB, 4 reps
Soil: Plano silt loam, pH:6.9, OM:4.1, P:95 ppm, K:143 ppm
Previous Crop: Alfalfa
Tillage: Fall Moldboard, Disk (5/17/04), Field Cultivator (5/27/04), Soil Finisher (6/3/04)
Planting Date: 6/3/04
Row spacing: 30 inches
Seeding depth: 1.5 inches
Rotary Hoe (2x): 6/16/04
Cultivation Dates (3x): 6/29/04, 7/9/04, 7/13/04
Harvest date: 11/15/04
Harvested plot size: 5' x 22'

Table 1. Seed Companies with hybrids in the 2004 UW Organic Corn Hybrid/ Variety Trials.
Company Address City State Zip Phone
Brown Seed, Inc. N1279 530th Street, P.O. Box 7 Bay City WI 54723 888-712-7696
Brunner Seed Farm W3850 U.S. Hwy 10 Durand WI 54736 800-298-5373
Gold Country Seeds P.O. Box 64 16565 Highway 15 North Hutchinson MN 55350 800-795-8544
Merit Seeds P.O. Box 205 Berlin OH 44610 800-553-4713
NC+ Organics 207 18th Street North Grand Junction IA 50107 800-370-7979
Prairie Hybrids 27445 Hurd Road Deer Grove IL 61243 800-368-0124

 

Table 2. Performance of corn hybrids/varieties grown in organically certified production fields during 2004 at Arlington, WI.
            Test **Grower Return
Brand Hybrid RM Population Lodging Yield Moisture Weight 2.09/bu 4.00/bu
    plants/A % bu/A % lbs/bu $/A $/A
NC+ 34C17 93 28413 0 150   19.7 49 267 553
Brown 3020 94 29997 1 150   20.3 50 264 550
Prairie Hybrid 0383 92 27720 1 141   20.3 49 249 518
Brunner OR8702 87 28413 1 144   20.5 50 253 527
Gold Country 9401 94 27522 0 154   20.8 49 271 565
                   
Brunner OR9802 98 28413 1 139   21.3 49 243 509
NC+ 42A32 98 28611 0 166 * 21.4 48 289 606
NC+ 41F00 97 27522 1 122   22.5 47 210 443
Prairie Hybrid 1673 102 29304 0 154   27.4 47 250 545
Brown 5335 101 28215 0 135   29.3 46 215 473
                    
NC+ 48F37 102 29205 1 144   29.3 46 228 503
Merit Seeds 0535 103 28116 0 139   30.7 46 216 482
NC+ 53F37 104 28116 0 139   31.7 46 213 478
Brunner OR1053 105 28710 0 121   33.4 46 181 412
                   
Mean   28448 0 143   25.0 48 238 511
LSD   NS NS 11   1.2 1.1 19 40
* Hybrids that performed statistically similar to the highest hybrid in the trial.
** Grower return = (Yield x Price) – Costs
Costs =
- Handling ($0.02 per bushel)
- Hauling ($0.04 per bushel)
- Trucking ($0.11 per bushel for 100 miles)
- Drying ($0.02 per bushel-point > 15.5%)
- Storage ($0.02 per 30 day) Marketing plan: 50% sold at harvest, 25% at 4 months, and 25% at 8 months.
Price = $4.00 = Minimum-Maximum prices reported by elevators was $3.75-$6.50 per
bushel (personal communication, John Hall, Michael Fields Institute)

Price = $2.09 = Weighted Price per bushel =
50% November Average Cash price
+ 25% March CBOT Futures ($0.15 basis)
+ 25% July CBOT Futures ($0.10 basis) November Average Cash price derived from WI Ag Statistics; CBOT Futures prices derived
from closing price on first business day in December.

For more information on organic corn production see:

UW Corn Agronomy Program: http://corn.agronomy.wisc.edu 
National Organic Program, USDA: http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop


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