It is important to begin thinking about hybrid choices during the early winter months and to book your seed early. To assist in your decision of the hybrid that best fits your operation, university and company data is available. Planting more than one hybrid should be considered to spread risk.
When selecting a hybrid, there are several things to consider. The length of hybrid maturity is key because the longer the maturity, typically the higher the yield potential. Factors to evaluate in terms of hybrid maturity include the length of the growing season in relationship to the desired planting date as well as yield potential based on soil quality, water availability, both irrigation and rainfall. If a given environment will not support high yield potential, then a shorter maturing hybrid is often more appropriate.
Other items to assess include the adaptability of the hybrid to the region, yield potential of the hybrid given its maturity and its standability. A hybrid’s head exertion is also important, as it will help with harvestability. Evaluating a hybrid’s drought tolerance is essential if it will be grown under dryland or limited irrigation. Insect and disease resistance are also key items to consider when selecting a hybrid that is the best choice for your farm. When considering which hybrids to plant, when at all possible, examine data over multiple years.