2020 corn, soybean and grain sorghum variety trial results

By Valerie Tate

The University of Missouri Variety Testing Program’s motto is “We test the best.” This year seed companies entered some of their best corn, soybean and grain sorghum varieties in the MU variety testing program. The program uses the most current scientific principles and procedures to compare varieties in unbiased trials across Missouri.

Plots were located in multiple locations around the state including farmers’ fields and University of Missouri’s agricultural experiment stations. Plots were replicated three times in each location and randomly planted across the field. These sites represent a wide range of soil types and weather conditions. Locations in North Missouri included Albany, Canton, Mooresville, Novelty and St. Joseph.

Corn was planted in 30-inch rows at 30,000 kernels per acre in the non-irrigated trials in North Missouri. Final corn yield was corrected to 15.5 percent moisture, but moisture at the time of harvest is also reported. As part of the trial, varieties were given a lodging rating just prior to harvest. Forty-one hybrids were entered in the North Missouri trials. The average yield of all varieties of non-irrigated corn in these five locations ranged from 246.1 bushels per acre to 203.0 bushels per acre.

Soybeans were planted in 30-inch rows at the rate of 160,000 seeds per acre. Final soybean yield was corrected to 13 percent moisture, but moisture at the time of harvest is reported. A lodging score and plant height were recorded at the time of harvest as well. The average yield in the north Missouri trials for 38 group 3 varieties ranged from 64.1 to 53.4 bushels per acre. The average yield of the for the 36 group 4 varieties ranged from 71.7 to 53.2 bushels per acre.

Grain sorghum varieties were tested in four locations around the state, including one in North Missouri. It was planted in 30-inch rows at the rate of 100,000 seeds per acre. Final grain sorghum yield was corrected to 14 percent moisture. Plant height was measured at maturity and a lodging score was given at harvest. Yield of the 22 varieties in the North Missouri trial ranged from 164.0 to 131.8 bushels per acre.

Yield is not the only factor to consider when selecting a variety. Standability, maturity, as well as insect and disease resistance are other important factors to take into consideration. The results of all the variety trials across the state are available online at www.varietytesting.missouri.edu.

For more information about variety testing, contact Valerie Tate, Field Specialist in Agronomy for MU Extension in the at tatev@missouri.edu or 660-895-5123. University of Missouri Extension programs are open to all.