Plant with a purpose for higher yields

Ken Ferrie
Planting field trials at high and low populations is one of the best ways to evaluate how a corn hybrid’s ear flex and plant structure affect the development of the crop, according to agronomist Ken Ferrie, who oversees Farm Journal’s Test Plots program. PHOTOS / GARY FANDEL

Farmers could add 30 to 40 bushels per acre to their corn yields by more closely studying their hybrid choices and placement on their farms, agronomist Ken Ferrie said last month during an educational seminar at the Iowa Farm Bureau annual meeting.

Armed with knowledge of how certain genetics will perform in specific environments, farmers can benefit by adjusting seeding rates and hybrids on the fly with multi-hybrid planters that allow them to plant “offensive” hybrids on high fertility ground and “de­­fensive” hybrids on poor soils. 

“The big gap to get there is not technology. We have the technology,” said Ferrie, who owns Crop Tech...

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