Mycogen Seeds moves beyond drought tolerance with stress-tolerant hybrids

Farm Forum

INDIANAPOLIS — Mycogen Seeds is helping growers in the western Corn Belt manage multiple environmental variables with a holistic solution: its new stress-tolerant corn portfolio. Unveiled on July 8, the stress-tolerant portfolio features hybrids with a strong agronomic foundation, bred to handle a range of challenges common to the western Corn Belt — including disease and insect pressure, water availability and extreme heat.

“Raising corn in the High Plains is not easy, and growers face more challenges than drought alone,” says Cole Hansen, U.S. corn marketing leader for Mycogen Seeds and a Nebraska native. “We have developed our stress-tolerant line-up to suit the growing conditions in the western Corn Belt, with hybrids that withstand many of the yield-reducing factors it presents.”

Mycogen Seeds’ stress-tolerant hybrids are highly rated for Goss’s wilt, high-pH soils, greensnap, and have flex ear to support a range of populations and improved pollination during heat. The hybrids are also drought tolerant. The company uses a local, targeted approach to screening for tolerance to these stresses. The portfolio has proven itself in a variety of challenging environments.

Rigorous testing delivers proven performance

“Hybrid performance is a combination of the right genetics, environmental conditions and management practices,” says Doug Barker, western Corn Belt breeding leader for Dow AgroSciences. “The right genetics establish top-end yield potential. It’s what helps the plant adapt to or overcome environmental conditions.”

Once a hybrid meets specific agronomic criteria, it moves on to testing. Mycogen Seeds pressure-tests these hybrids in a western Corn Belt managed stress environment (MSE) to carefully understand yield response at various intervals of plant development.

Stress-tolerant hybrids are classified as:

• Rugged hybrids — Consistent yielders in tougher growing conditions and lower-yield environments

• All-star hybrids — Excellent yield in low- and high-yield environments2

“Rigorous testing tells us how hybrids respond to each stress factor to more precisely place the hybrid in the field and help growers manage them,” Barker says.

The Mycogen Seeds Agronomy Services team specializes in helping growers place and manage hybrids. Growers can look to their local Mycogen representative or dealer for assistance selecting, planting and managing stress-tolerant hybrids.

“Growers only have one shot at their corn yield,” Hansen says. “Choosing stress-tolerant hybrids helps ensure they’re putting up the best defense against local stresses to maximize yield potential.”