MU corn tests show good yields despite weather

Dec 07, 2023

The University of Missouri corn hybrid yield testing program reflected another eventful crop year in the state. The university has been conducting corn yield trials since the 1930s, first publishing results in 1937.

MU senior research specialist Mark Wieberg says it was a generally dry year.

“It definitely was dry,” he says. “We had a dry spring, which helped us get the crops in in a timely manner.”

The researchers did have to replant some corn in the Southeast region.

“The biggest challenge was probably the Southeast region,” Wieberg says. “After we planted it turned cold and wet and we had to replant some.”

Despite a generally dry year, some of the corn test plots did well, depending on when they caught rain and whether it was in time to help the corn.

“It wasn’t the amount of the rain, it was the timeliness,” Wieberg says.

As an example, the test site at Canton did not receive a lot of rain in total for the growing season, but the rain it did get came at very beneficial times.

In general, corn yields were good at the MU test plots.

“The corn yields were extremely good statewide,” Wieberg says. “The regional yields were pretty close to each other.”

But certain parts of the state did get very dry, and Wieberg says one farmer who provided land for a test plot said just a mile or two away, corn yields were lower because they did not catch the rains at the right time.

He says it was a strange year with the mostly good corn yields in MU’s yield testing, but some soybeans in the same areas struggled.

“We had the highest corn yield we ever had here at Columbia, and the beans (at Columbia) were some of the lower yielding in the state,” Wieberg says.

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