2021 Ohio Corn Performance Test: Regional Overviews

By Rich MinyoAllen GeyerDavid LohnesMatt Lowe, Ohio State University Extension

In 2021, 121 corn hybrids representing 16 commercial brands were evaluated in the Ohio Corn Performance Test (OCPT). Four tests were established in the Southwestern/West Central/Central (SW/WC/C) region and three tests were established in the Northwestern (NW) and North Central/Northeastern (NC/NE) regions (for a total of ten test sites statewide).  Hybrid entries in the regional tests were planted in either an early or a full season maturity trial. These test sites provided a range of growing conditions and production environments.

Growing conditions were very favorable for corn production across most of Ohio in 2021. The growing season was characterized by well above or above average rainfall and heat unit accumulation (growing degree-days). Precipitation and heat unit accumulation were generally greater at OCPT sites in the SW/WC/C region (with rainfall ranging from 20.3 to 29.4 inches and heat unit accumulation ranging from 3044 to 3210 GDDs) than at sites in the NW and NC/NE regions. Moreover, rainfall was generally well distributed at these sites. The impact of dry conditions in late June and July on crop performance at the Van Wert site in NW Ohio and the Bucyrus site in NE/NC Ohio were generally mitigated by timely rains in late August and September. Due to the warm, wet conditions, foliar diseases (primarily gray leaf spot & northern corn leaf blight) were present at nearly all tests. Ear rots (primarily Gibberella and Diplodia ear rots) were present at Hebron and Columbiana. However, the severity of the disease pressure was variable by location, and it was usually most pronounced for a limited number of hybrids. Warm temperatures in mid-October promoted crop maturation and dry down but persistent rains in September through November slowed harvest across most of the state.

Yields varied across the state depending on rainfall patterns, timing and total precipitation received. With above average temperatures and adequate precipitation during grain fill, OCPT yields exceeded expectations. Averaged across hybrid entries in the early and full season tests, yields were 283 bu/A in the Southwestern/West Central/Central region, 255 bu/A in the Northwestern region, and 266 bu/A in the North Central/Northeastern region. Yields at individual test sites, averaged across hybrid entries in the early and full season tests, ranged from 224 bu/A at Van Wert to 302 bu/A at Hebron. The Van Wert and Bucyrus test sites were especially dry in late June & July and averaged lower yields than other test locations. The rain events in late August & early September recharged the soil profile and contributed to full season hybrids grain fill which averaged consistently higher yields than the early maturity test hybrids. Moldy grain was observed in some hybrids at Hebron and Columbiana. Moderate to high levels of gray leaf spot were evident in a few hybrids at Washington C.H. Heavy Northern Corn Leaf Blight pressure at Van Wert and Bucyrus may have reduced the yields in more susceptible hybrids. Lodging was largely absent across sites except at Upper Sandusky where some hybrids lodged as a result of heavy rains and strong winds in early November.

Tables 1 and 2 provide an overview of 2021 hybrid performance in the early maturity and full season hybrid trials by region. Averages for grain yield and other measures of agronomic performance are indicated for each region. In addition, the range in regional test site averages is shown in parentheses. Complete results are available online at: https://ohiocroptest.cfaes.osu.edu/corntrials. A bulletin containing the results, 2021 Ohio Corn Performance Test, is also published as an insert in Ohio’s Country Journal.

As you review 2021 test results, it’s important to keep the following in mind. Confidence in test results increases with the number of years and the number of locations in which the hybrid was tested. Avoid selecting a hybrid based on data from a single test site, especially if the site was characterized by abnormal growing conditions. Look for consistency in a hybrid’s performance across a range of environmental conditions.  Consider the table providing a “Combined regional summary of hybrid performance” which indicates the performance of hybrids common to eight statewide test sites and the five tests in western Ohio.  Differences in grain moisture percentages among hybrids at harvest can provide a basis for comparing hybrid maturity.  Yield, % stalk lodging, grain moisture, and other comparisons should be made between hybrids of similar maturity to determine those best adapted to your farm. 

Table 1.   A regional overview of the early maturity 2020 Ohio Corn Performance Test.

 Region EntriesGrain Yield(Bu/A)Moisture(%)Lodging(%)Emergence(%)Final Stand(plants/A)Test Wt.(lbs/bu)

Table 2.  A regional overview of the full season 2020 Ohio Corn Performance Test.

 Region EntriesGrain Yield(Bu/A)Moisture(%)Lodging(%)Emergence(%)Final Stand(plants/A)Test Wt.(lbs/bu)

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