New silage corns for the coming season reflect improvements bred to address specific situations in addition to the continual quest for high yields. Farmers can choose new silage corn hybrids with various maturity dates to fit their particular needs and conditions.
The following new hybrids from several companies illustrate the available advances in technology. More will be added in a later edition, as well as hybrids for grain production and dual-purpose varieties.
Growmark FS selects its new silage hybrids to optimize nutrients for yield potential. The FS InVision seed corns impart focused technology for mid-Atlantic and Northeast performance. FS InVision targets the correct balance between superior agronomic performance and premium forage quality for its line of silage corn. In its evaluations, it concentrates on dry matter digestibility and neutral detergent fiber digestibility. All the hybrids listed here include the Insect Resistance Management technology.
FS 3722VT3P, for the short-season market at 87 days to maturity at 2,175 growing degree days, ranks excellent in yields, plus excellent in whole plant and fiber digestibility. A tall plant with a large, showy ear, its softer kernels promote more complete grain assimilation. A first choice for silage production, it rates very good in silage drydown and drought tolerance traits. With Genuity VT Triple Pro Corn technology, this hybrid is Roundup Ready. FS 3621XRR is available for refuge acres.
A new performance powerhouse, FS 4422VT3P produces excellent tonnage in 94 days and 2,350 growing degree days. Moreover, it tests high in digestible yield, seedling growth rate, silage drydown and drought tolerance. Silage digestibility is good. In this Genuity VT Triple Pro Corn and Roundup Ready hybrid, FS 4321XRR can serve in refuge acres. A taller, leafy green plant with soft kernel textures, FS 4422VT3P is stable in a broad range of environments.
Another workhorse for its maturity, FS 4828VT3P produces high tonnage with excellent whole-plant digestibility. Also drought-tolerant, it has very good seedling growth rate and silage drydown. Ready in 98 days and 2,450 degree days, it produces good kernels of grain-dense, energy-rich feed. With Genuity VT Triple Pro Corn trait, in the Roundup Ready version, FS 4727XRR is available for refuge. FS 4727 is the conventional version of this new silage hybrid.
FS 5429VP3, with the Agrisure Viptera 3111 technology trait, has demonstrated super tonnage yields. It tested excellent in digestible yield and seedling growth rate, maturing in 104 days with 2,600 degree days. Dark green with a dense leaf canopy, it excels in whole-plant fiber quality. It emerges quickly, plus the seedling growth rate allows early planting. Growmark FS suggests keeping it north for best performance. Its drought tolerance is good, and its silage drydown is very good. The conventional version is FS 5328.
The Genuity VT Triple Pro Corn hybrid, FS 5525VT3P, shows outstanding yields, with excellent digestible yields. It produces in 105 days with 2,625 degree days. With a tall plant and an impressive ear size, this hybrid has excellent whole-plant digestibility and high grain content. Grain-dense and energy-rich, it maximizes milk production. Silage drydown ranks excellent, and the seedling growth rate and drought tolerance are very good. FS 5424XRR is available for this Roundup Ready hybrid.
Mycogen Seeds has added new Silage-Specific BMR and TMF corn silage hybrids to its 2013 lineup that perform well in New England, New York and Pennsylvania. Several include the SmartStax trait technology, which allows reduced refuge areas. The bm3 gene in the BMR hybrids delivers superior digestibility and increased milk production. TMF corns have well-developed ears, long, wide leaves and tall, strong stalks for more total dry matter. Improved digestibility and yields add to its appeal.
The following four hybrids have demonstrated well in New England and New York. F2F346 fits the early BMR market. It includes HERCULEX XTRA Insect Protection. This 94-day hybrid has semiflexible ears and yields well with moderate to moderately high plant populations. A medium-tall silage corn, it produces high tonnage with excellent neutral detergent fiber digestibility scores.
With SmartStax technology, TMF2Q308 yields reliably in a wide range of soil types. A 91-day hybrid, it offers excellent husk coverage and consistent ear fill on a medium-tall plant. This attractive hybrid works well in dairy rations and excels in the North and at higher elevations.
This past summer, TMF2Q413 showed both drought tolerance and early season vigor. With a flex ear, it has soft kernel texture and high tonnage potential. Its strong agronomic package includes HERCULEX I Insect Protection. This silage hybrid also features excellent ear fill and husk coverage.
With great eye appeal, 101-day TMF2L538 is an impressive newer version of Mycogen's popular TMF2L533. With SmartStax technology, this tall plant features large, semiflexible ears packed with soft, deep kernels. It delivers both high forage yields and high quality.
Two of the Mycogen hybrids in particular excel in Pennsylvania. TMF2R718 has proven performance in droughty soils. At 110 days, this tall silage hybrid features flexible ears and moderately soft kernels. It performs well at low to high plant populations.
A full-season SmartStax hybrid, TMF2H919 is Mycogen's highest-yielding silage corn. With strong agronomics, it also is their most digestible hybrid in its relative maturity of 123 days. It has flexible ears and moderately hard kernels.
T.A. Seeds selects and tests its silage hybrids for increased milk production. It strives for tonnage and quality, as well as a careful balance between digestibility and rumen function. All T.A. Seeds silage hybrids deliver performance in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic. In addition to those listed, T.A. Seeds offers numerous dual-purpose hybrids.
Three Nutri-Dense hybrids in the same genetic group with relative maturities of 103 to 108 days with demonstrated excellent forage yield include TA550-00ND, TA550-18ND with Agrisure GT and TA550-20ND with Agrisure 3000GT. The latter includes the herbicide tolerance and insect protection technology. T.A. Seeds notes it as binder-friendly and dairy-preferred. All these hybrids show outstanding yields, plus excellent emergence, drought tolerance and drydown. In addition, standability as well as northern corn leaf blight, gray leaf spot and common rust tolerances rank very good. The semiflexible ears are at medium height. Populations of 28,000 to 34,000 are recommended for these hybrids.
Two Zone Select Genetics hybrids, TA783-22DP and TA783-22DPRIB, possess the Genuity VP Double Pro Corn, Roundup Ready, Respect the Refuge and Insect Resistance Management traits. The latter has the RIB Complete genetics as well. Both of these hybrids have high tonnage potential. They include some tropical genetics, plus both test excellent in emergence, drought tolerance, drydown, and tolerance to gray leaf spot and leaf/stalk anthracnose. Their standability is also very good. Ear placement is medium high on a medium-tall plant. Both tolerate medium-high populations.
The author is a writer/researcher specializing in agriculture. She currently resides in central Pennsylvania.