By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension
This is the fun part of my job. I get asked questions or am told I misguided someone and so I do a little field work to investigate what may be the reality. I thank Joe, Nick and Zack at the OSU Western Agricultural Research Station for giving me the space to work, and I think they enjoy the challenge and quest to find answers too.
So once again I ran a trial comparing “older” open pollinated corn genetics to modern corn hybrids. I still use Reid’s yellow dent as a basis for my work because there is so much of that old variety carried through into modern genetics. A chance cross occurred in Ohio at about the time of the Civil War and that accident carries through to today’s genetics and yield improvement.
|WARS 2020 Antique corn trial, for yield and harvest stand.|
|Variety/ hybrid||bu/A||thou. Pl/A|
|1||Reid yellow dent 110||105.7||21.1|
|2||Green Field 114||121.4||15.0|
|4||Lancaster Sure Crop 120||129.7||22.5|
|6||modern transgenic hybrid||228.3||29.3|
|7||modern hybrid (2) organic||236.5||29.2|
|8||Wapsie Valley 85||114.0||22.0|
|Prob > F||1.2285E-11||1.2863E-11|
In the Table, except for item number 6, these are all available and sold as organic corn seed. I was chastised a year or so ago that I was comparing varieties to hybrids, “of course they don’t yield as well.” So we have two modern hybrids here and yes the organic hybrid yielded right with the transgenic hybrid — no significant difference. Many of the organic varieties trace their lineage back to Reid’s yellow dent.