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Tips on placing hybrids where they will do best

Feb 05, 2020

Each year growers have many decisions to make about how they are going to maximize yield potential. With seed being one of the most expensive inputs it is important to make sure growers are getting the most out of their seed.

Understanding response to population scores on selected hybrids is key to ensuring the investment in seed is maximized. Let’s dive into how response to population scores can help with hybrid selection.
Response to population scores reveal what hybrids thrive at higher populations and which hybrids perform well at lower populations. 
  1.  High Response to Population Score are hybrids that have the potential for a yield increase when planted at higher populations.
  2. Moderate Response to Population Score are hybrids that can achieve high yields at average populations. 
  3. Low Response to Population Scores reflect a flex ear type hybrid that can reach acceptable yields at lower populations.
Winfield United has researched response to populations scores and identified yield response to populations.  Over a 7-year period Winfield United found an 8.3-bushel difference based solely on population differences.  So, what needs to happen to go after those bushels?

Reviewing historical soil, yield and profitability maps is a great way to evaluate past field performance.  This sets up opportunities to maximize yield potential in your fields by selecting appropriate hybrids for specific areas. This is where response to population scores come into play, the high performing areas will most likely benefit from a high response to population score hybrid. In historically poorer performing areas, a low population score hybrid should be considered.  This will avoid compromising yield potential by not optimizing populations.

Through Centra Sota’s Yield Quest program, growers have access to tools to help optimize planting populations, among many other things. Contact your local Centra Sota crop advisor to discuss response to population scores and how you can efficiently place hybrids in your fields.

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