Northern New York Agricultural Development Program Press Releases

December 8, 2006
Contact: Jon Greenwood, Greenwood Dairy, Canton, 315-386-3231;
Joe Giroux, Giroux Farm, Plattsburgh, 518-563-7523;
R. David Smith, Cornell University, 607-255-7286

NNY Variety Trial Data Helps Early Seed Selectors Shop for 2007 Corn Crop

Just as some people already have their Christmas presents bought and wrapped, some North Country farmers are now looking to complete their seed shopping for their 2007 corn crop. Data for corn hybrid trials funded by the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program, carried out at three regional farms, and available online at www.nnyagdev.org is helping those early seed shoppers.

Dr. Margaret E. Smith, a Cornell professor of plant breeding and genetics, says the data in the online factsheets on the �Evaluation of Corn Grain Hybrids for NNY� for 2005 and 2006 is appropriate for making seed choices for 2007.

�Farmers should base their seed selections on yield, maturity and other data collected over more than one year. The fact that the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program funds trials on regional farms under Northern New York growing conditions provides data that is also a huge plus for decision making,� Smith says.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County Field Crops Educator Mike Hunter says, �Yield data is just one of the selection criteria tools that farmers use for deciding which hybrids will work best for their soil, production practices and farm business needs. Decisions are not made on a single year�s performance, but on consistently strong yields from year to year.�

Cornell Crop and Soil Sciences Professors Dr. William Cox and Dr. Jerry Cherney are evaluating 42 corn silage hybrids planted in Northern New York in 2006. Cox says, �Planting a well-chosen corn silage hybrid plus good management and proper harvesting, storage and feeding can produce the desired milk, and beef, yields. Hybrids that have been tested more than one year should be given more weight because they have performed above-average in more environments.�

Data from Chazy, Canton, Sackets Harbor Farms
Corn grain hybrids are tested at the W.H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute in Chazy, Clinton County; at Greenwood Dairy in Canton, St. Lawrence County; and at Robbins Farms in Sackets Harbor, Jefferson County. The year-to-year differences in yields for the hybrids tested in 2004 and 2005 range from just one or two bushels per acre to nearly 80 bushels/acre.

The complete data sets for the 2006 corn grain and silage trials will be available in new fact sheets that will be posted at www.nnyagdev.org in early 2007.

The Cornell educators recommend evaluating multiple years� corn trial data in tandem with the Cornell Guide for Integrated Field Crop Management available through the Cornell University Bookstore and online at http://store.cce.cornell.edu/index.php?cat=2.

The farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program funds research and education outreach for Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties. The corn trial evaluation fact sheets are posted with other regional resources online at www.nnyagdev.org.

About 120,000 acres across the state�s six northernmost counties are planted in corn � about 18,000 acres harvested for grain and 100,000-plus acres for silage.
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