In 2020, 34 organic hybrids representing 6 commercial brands were submitted for evaluation in the Organic Corn Performance Test. The tests were conducted on certified organic fields at Apple Creek (West Badger Farm) and Wooster (Fry Farm) in Wayne County and Lindsey in Sandusky County and were intensively managed for nutrients and weed control. Each hybrid entry was evaluated using four replications per site in a randomized complete block design. Hybrids were planted either in an early or full season maturity trial based on relative maturity information provided by the companies. The relative maturity of hybrid entries in the early maturity trial were 106 days or earlier; the relative maturity of hybrid entries in the full season trial were 107 days or later. The planting rate was 34,000 seeds/acre with a final stand target of 30,000 – 31,000 plants/acre. Soil amendments were applied according to recommended cultural practices for obtaining optimum grain yields.
The Organic OCPT fields were planted in late May/early June into fields with good soil moisture. Rainfall was extremely variable from mid-June through mid-August. Adequate rainfall the end of August and early September combined with above average temperatures later in the season were favorable for corn development and extended the grain fill period well into October.
In 2020, Organic OCPT yields exceeded expectations. Averaged across hybrid entries in the early and full season tests, yields were 206 bu/A. Yields at individual test sites, averaged across hybrid entries in the early and full season tests, ranged from 191 bu/A at Lindsey to 222 bu/A at Apple Creek. Results for the Wooster site are not presented due to heavy rains immediately after planting reducing stands and limiting early weed control which created variability within the test plot field.
Confidence in test results increases with the number of years and the number of locations in which the hybrid was tested. Look for consistency in a hybrid’s performance across a range of environmental conditions. Yield, standability, grain moisture, and other comparisons should be made between hybrids of similar maturity to determine those best adapted to your farm. Results of the crop performance trials for 2020 are available online at: http://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/organiccorntrials. Hybrids can be sorted by yield, brand, and other variables.