WESTFIELD, Ind. (Oct. 3, 2023) – Why should you care about the genetic diversity of your hybrids? Because no two growing seasons are the same. AgriGold’s annual evaluation of the hybrids in its Field GX™ genetic families ensure seed choices match your yield goals and management to minimize risk through diversification.
“Knowing a hybrid’s genetic family helps simplify management, reduce risk and maximize return on investment,” says AgriGold Agronomist Brian Ternus. “You never know how any given season will play out. That’s why it’s important to spread your risk by planting hybrids from different families.”
Value of diverse genetics
Think of Field GX as a diversity indicator, Ternus says. “I advise farmers to select hybrids from at least two different families for their farms,” he says. “If your goals allow, three families are even better.”
Grain fill is a prime example of how genetic diversity can ease on-farm risks, says AgriGold Agronomist Chris Ouzts. “The late grain-filling hybrids of Field GX G didn’t look impressive around the Fourth of July, but they received the moisture they needed to fill out their longer ears late in the season and were high yielders for southern Louisiana in 2023.”
If the season had played out differently and heat moved in, leading up to black layer, Ouzts says late grain fillers like Field GX G would have come in light. “Earlier fillers like Field GX H are better able to handle those conditions,” Ouzts says. “Having both families on your farm spreads your risk.”
Smart hybrid placement
The Field GX family groupings also give farmers a general idea of the hybrids’ agronomic characteristics as well as what management practices generate the best responses. “Thanks to the Field GX system, knowing what family a hybrid belongs to tells me how to place and manage it,” Ouzts says. “We know Field GX H hybrids respond well to fungicide, for example, keeping plants healthy during grain fill.”
A farmer’s goals, management practices and soil type factor into family selection. “If you have a lot of stress acres, one of our more versatile families that perform well across many soil types and management styles, like Field GX G or Field GX F, might be a good fit,” Ouzts says. Versatility and strong stress tolerance helped Field GX F perform well in Ternus’ territory of southern Minnesota and South Dakota where drought was a challenge in 2023.
Bottom line — no two growing seasons are the same, and hybrid performance will likewise vary. Planting hybrids with diverse genetic backgrounds spreads your risk. Reach out to your local AgriGold agronomist to learn more about how Field GX simplifies diversifying genetics on your farm.