The Business Benefits of Conventional Corn

The Business Benefits of Conventional Corn

When attending a recent Wisconsin Agronomy Update Meeting, Joe Lauer, Wisconsin’s Corn Agronomist, stated:
“…traited products don’t add to yield, they protect yield.” What does this mean? It’s simple really…

This statement from Joe Lauer is entirely true. Yield is determined by the genetics of the hybrid, not the transgenic traits. Genetically modified hybrids definitely have their place in the industry, however, they come at a cost. The farmer is paying for a convenience when using GMO crops.Plot-topping yields are achievable with the absence of traits, but three big things must be paid attention to for this to happen:

  • Crop rotation is first and foremost the most important thing. Yield-robbing insect pressures are typically curbed with strict crop rotations.
  • Herbicide selection and diversity is pertinent. Herbicide technology has made serious advancements since Roundup Ready Corn was introduced in 1998. Selecting herbicides with different modes of action and chemistries can vastly improve weed control on your farm.
  • Hybrid selection is extremely important. This is where your trusty seed supplier comes into play. When it comes to conventional hybrids, you want to look for a supplier who is knowledgeable and can answer any questions for you, no matter how specific. With that source of knowledge, also look to a supplier with a vast inventory of hybrids that’ll fit any farm.

Meticulous management of crop inputs could mean the difference between breaking even and turning a profit. Switching to conventional hybrids can take a significant bite out of your production costs. With simple research, you can find competitively performing, well-priced hybrids that will make your farming operation more profitable.

Making the switch to conventional hybrids doesn’t need to be intimidating. American farmers had been cultivating hybridized corn for nearly 90 years before GMO corn was introduced in 1996. During this time, growers became pretty darn good at growing corn. The same basic principles for growing corn are used today.

How many acres are going to going to be switched to conventional corn this spring? Only time will tell what kind of adoption we’ll see.

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