Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hybrid Striping

Bigmoe asked this morning on crop talk about hybrid striping.

"I was reading the post from last week or so on planting multiple varieties in the planter at once. I understand the reasons and why a guy would do it but was wondering if you planted an 86 next to a 90 day corn hybrid will they both benifit from the extended pollination or just 1 of them. I am thinking of trying this with a 90 and 92 day and with a 86 and a 90 day."

Here is what I replied with:
"All I know is it yields 7% more and some of my neighbors do it. I quote the 7% from old USDA research that was duplicated at SDSU and other research facilities. Grandpa did it on open pollinated corn to get hybrid corn. Dad did it with hybrid corn and I have too.

I would use nothing more than 4 days apart of different ancestry. I think you get less boost from similar hybrids planted together but I don't know. I think it helps both hybrids but it make sense that a longer pollinating hybrid needs more pollen flow. Some plant the longer season to the wind, others the shorter season. This was dubbed Operation Stripe years ago and I have done it many times, not every time.

The down side is perhaps what you bring up but more the visual of having the looks of two different hybrids in one field. Some landowners and some farmers want the field to look and yield the same. It never does yield the same, so much variation in a field and I would rather have the extra corn than the pretty looks usually but there is much to be said for one beautiful field that all looks the same.

I really care more about the extra yield but the moisture variation or one hybrid falling down and the other one not poses risks. I guess you have to weigh out the risks and make your own conclusion.

It is not all about pollen flow, every plant acts a little different with different neighbors and I have never seen weeds increase yield so you don't want to plant a weed next to your corn but it does yield more and I have proven it to myself and so have many others. There is a synergistic effect between some hybrids more than is explained by pollen flow.

That's my take on it. Try it and report back or leave it on the shelf as an idea never tried. It may explain why strip plots yield better than the hybrid does planted by itself in one field."

What do you think? Have you ever tried Operation Stripe or Hybrid Striping? Or do you want your field to all look the same? I think it comes down to that.

Living or dead cover crops have an effect on fields and most likely yields. I am trying to increase my yields, not hurt them. Striping takes a look at the one crop growing in the field and I know it does increase yield.

The idea is to increase yield, not problems in your field. The picture is one of my best looking fields ever. It didn't yield as much as the fields with different hybrids planted side by side in them.

Which do you want?


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