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Cornell University, University of Vermont and seed companies collaborate to provide robust evaluation of hybrids at multiple locations

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  • Cornell Cooperative Extension
  • PRO-DAIRY
  • Animal Science
PRO-DAIRY continues to lead the Commercial Corn Silage Hybrid Evaluation Program, providing valuable information on the rapidly changing options related to corn hybrid selection and addressing both agronomic and nutritional aspects of corn silage to the dairy industry. Collaborative partnerships have grown into a formal partnership--the Northeast Corn Silage Hybrid Evaluation Consortium--that now includes the University of Vermont, Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania, Penn State University, Western New York Crop Management Association and the University of Maine.

Program collaborators continue to leverage the hybrid trials as a platform for additional applied research projects. Recent studies that have allowed for the collection of additional data from the ongoing hybrid trials have addressed important issues related to corn nitrogen use efficiency and the impact of emerging insect pests.

In 2023, the corn silage hybrid evaluation program received 75 entries from 17 seed brands. Hybrid evaluation at multiple environments helps in decision making and expands the reach of this type of data to more farmers. Cornell, UVM, and seed companies collaborate to provide this robust evaluation. 

In 2023, the hybrid relative maturity (RM) grouping was revised in response to entry trends and stakeholder feedback. The Early-Mid RM group was revised (from 80-95 day RM) to be 85-98 day RM while the Mid-Late RM group was refined (from 96-110 day RM) to be 99-110 day RM. Hybrids were either entered into the 85-98 day RM group (Early-Mid; n = 39) and were tested at two locations in New York (Lamb Farms in Oakfield and the Willsboro Research Farm in Willsboro) and one location in Vermont (Borderview Farm in Alburgh) or were entered into the 99-110 day RM group (Mid-Late; n = 36) and were tested at two locations in New York (Greenwood Farms in Madrid and the Musgrave Research Farm in Aurora) and one location in Vermont (Borderview Farm in Alburgh). 

The report offers insight into hybrid performance as influenced by growing environment, and when used in conjunction with other data and experience, can be a useful tool to evaluate how a hybrid may fit a farm's forage goals.

The New York and Vermont corn silage evaluation program is made possible with support from dairy producers, participating seed companies, Cornell University, the University of Vermont, the New York Corn Growers Corn Research and Education Program, and the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station. Seed companies were invited to submit hybrids into either maturity group (three locations per maturity group) for a fee.

PRO-DAIRY is a nationally recognized extension and applied research leader serving dairy farms for more than 30 years.

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