September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.
Corn yields generally higher in Wisconsin trials
Corn hybrids were evaluated in trials at 12 locations, and nine of them produced yields above the 10-year average. Lancaster, in southwest Wisconsin's Grant County, produced the highest yield, at 231 bushels per acre. That was up eight percent from the 10-year average yield of 214 bushels per acre.
The Janesville location, in far southern Wisconsin, ranked second. There, the average yield came in at 230 bushels per acre, three percent above the 10-year average of 223 bushels.
Galesville, in western Wisconsin's Trempealeau County, recorded the third-highest yield, at 222 bushels. That was six percent above the 10-year average of 210 bushels per acre.
Fond du Lac and Hancock also topped the 200-bushel-per-acre mark. At Fond du Lac, the yield was 205 bushels, up 11 percent from the 10-year average of 185.
At Hancock, in the Badger State's central sands region, corn hybrids averaged 204 bushels per acre. But that number was down seven percent from the decade-long average of 219 bushels.
Arlington and Valders also tallied lower-than average yields. But Chippewa Falls, Marshfield, Spooner, Seymour and Coleman all beat their 10-year averages. Spooner posted the greatest increase, up 17 percent.
Lauer noted that more than a mere handful of varieties are tested at each location. For example, at Arlington, just north of Madison, Wis., 150 varieties were evaluated in 2011. And between 2001 and 2010, no less than 1,988 hybrids were tested there.
Corn silage varieties were tested at nine locations. At all but one, yields were higher than the 10-year average.
The only site posting a decrease was Arlington. There, 62 varieties averaged 9.2 tons per acre in 2011. That was off the 10-year average by four percent.
Galesville posted the highest yield, of 9.9 tons per acre. That was good for a five percent increase over the 10-year average.
Lancaster scored the second-highest yield: 9.7 tons per acre from 62 tested varieties. The Lancaster location beat its 10-year average by eight percent.
Also topping nine tons per acre was Fond du Lac, at a 9.7-ton average from 76 varieties. Fond du Lac topped its 10-year average yield by 16 percent.
The average yield at Coleman came in at 8.6 tons per acre, while Chippewa Falls made an 8.2-ton average. Valders averaged 7.9 tons per acre; Marshfield averaged 7.6 tons; and Spooner made an even seven tons per acre.
Lauer reviewed the corn growing season, saying, "Spring planting was challenging, due to cool, wet conditions, especially in northeastern Wisconsin, where progress was delayed. Over the entire growing season, growing degree day accumulations were below the 30-year normal."
Turning to the amount of rain, Lauer said it was "below average" in southern Wisconsin, but "above average" in northern Wisconsin. September and October were dry and cool, aiding in corn drying in the fields.
"Little insect or disease pressure was observed in most trials," Lauer said. "High winds caused above-average lodging at dry locations."
He added that the weather at Arlington was "significantly" cooler, and that contributed to the 10 percent yield drop from the 10-year average. Lauer said corn in the university's hybrid trials tends to get planted early and harvested at optimal times. That means the trials "provide a good estimate of potential yields at various locations over an entire growing season."
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