What is the Yield Difference Between the Top- and Bottom-Yielding Corn Hybrids in
March 14, 2002 9(3):16-17
Joe Lauer, Corn Agronomist
A question often asked by farmers is what is the difference between the top-
and bottom-yielding hybrids in a trial? The UW Corn Performance Hybrid Trial has
been conducted since 1973. Grain yields during this time have increased 1.6 bushels
per year. Since 1973 the average grain yield difference between the top-and bottom-yielding
hybrids has been 68 bushels per acre for 535 trials. A trial conducted at Hancock
during 1973 had the smallest range of 23 bushels per acre, while a trial conducted
at Janesville during 1996 had the greatest yield difference. In nearly every year,
1-3 trials have yield differences between the top- and bottom-yielding hybrids of
over 100 bushels per acre.
An average yield difference of 68 bushels per acre is strong economic incentive
for a farmer to use care when selecting hybrids. Farmers need to use trial information
from as many sources as possible when making a hybrid selection decision.