Top-Performing Corn Hybrids and Soybean Varieties in 2016

Despite facing production challenges in 2016, many corn and soybean growers across the Midwest had abundant harvests.

To cross the finish line to a successful season, growers often must clear a few agronomic hurdles along the way. Common obstacles include excessively wet or dry conditions, crop diseases, and pest pressures. In 2016, however, many growers using Syngenta corn and soybean products noted success even in the face of in-season challenges.

The Syngenta Harvest Chasers, an annual initiative that helps single out the top-performing corn hybrids and soybean varieties, sought out these positive experiences across the country and reported them on the Know More, Grow More agronomy blog this past fall. Each field experienced the growing season a little differently. But with products from Syngenta—such as Golden Harvest® Corn, NK® Corn, NK Soybeans and Enogen® Corn, and advanced traits and technologies, including Agrisure Artesian®, Agrisure Duracade® and Agrisure Viptera®—many growers were able to achieve exceptional yields, no matter the cards the growing season dealt them.

Disease Tolerance in Action

Disease proved to be one of the toughest challenges for soybean growers in many parts of Wisconsin in 2016. With a cool spring followed by a wet summer, white mold and sudden death syndrome (SDS) popped up in many soybean fields throughout the state. But growers who had SDS and white mold protection built into the genetics of their soybean varieties were able to get through the season not just with stronger, healthier crops, but with increased yields as well.

For Scott and Dustin McGinnis, Golden Harvest Seed Advisors™ from Avalon, Wisconsin, one particular NK Soybean variety, which is a grower favorite known for its strong resistance to SDS and industry-leading resistance to Sclerotinia white mold, proved to be a top performer. While other growers felt the sting of white mold decreasing their soybean yields, the McGinnises’ NK Soybeans S20-T6 brand reached up to 70 bushels per acre (bu/A).

“Syngenta just has the best beans in the business,” says Dustin McGinnis. And given NK Soybeans S20-T6 brand’s above-average disease tolerance, he plans to keep planting it.

High Yields Despite Drought

Despite in-season challenges, many @SyngentaUS #corn and #soybean growers saw success in 2016.

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Drought-like weather was a challenge for several regions, and in some areas, it had a significant impact on corn and soybean yields. Grower Joe Shivers from Coleman, Georgia, says his region was hit hard, but he was still able to report high yields with his NK Corn.

“NK Corn hybrids N83D-3000GT and N78S-3111 brands were the best corn I had,” Shivers says. With corn yields averaging up to 265 bu/A, which was approximately 30 bu/A more than the competitor brand hybrid he planted, the NK hybrids showcased their adaptability to drought-prone conditions.

This year, Shivers says he will plant more NK Corn and recommends that other growers check with their retailers for advice on which hybrids will best suit their fields. He also plans on planting more NK Soybeans based on 2016 results.

“Last year, my NK Soybeans yielded on average more than 15 bu/A better than competitors,” says Shivers, whose soybean acreage isn’t irrigated. Even if the drought continues, he feels confident that NK hybrids and varieties will help him achieve above-average yields.

Pest Control Prowess

For some growers in southern Illinois, above-ground pests, such as corn earworm, cutworm and armyworm, are well-known nuisances. In fact, according to the University of Illinois Extension, two generations of corn earworm infest Illinois cornfields each year.

“Year after year, we make it our mission to help growers confidently face the challenges of their region with our best-in-class genetics and industry-leading traits.”

Eric Boersma
Fortunately for grower and Golden Harvest Seed Advisor Mike Laux, the protection offered by the trait in his corn hybrids helped keep insect pressure at bay in 2016. By growing hybrids with above-ground insect control built in, Laux reports that his yields just keep getting better every year. Golden Harvest hybrid G10S30-3220 E-Z-Refuge® brand, which features the Agrisure Viptera trait, is one of his favorites.

“This hybrid is yielding in the 200 to 220 bu/A range,” Laux says. “With the Agrisure Viptera trait, I didn’t have any earworm issues, so I didn’t need to worry about molds, either.”

Laux says he can clearly see that his crops are more resilient to the pest pressure the rest of the region has been experiencing.

Looking Ahead to Harvest 2017

With the 2016 harvest season in the rearview mirror, Syngenta is already looking ahead to making harvest 2017 even better. Growers know they will face many unknowns throughout the season, but having products they can trust to withstand whatever the growing season throws their way is key.

“Year after year, we make it our mission to help growers confidently face the challenges of their region with our best-in-class genetics and industry-leading traits,” says Eric Boersma, corn seed product marketing manager at Syngenta. “We want to make sure our customers have a safety net no matter what the season may bring.”

With the assistance of their trusted Golden Harvest Seed Advisors and NK retailers, growers are never alone at any point during the season, Boersma says. “From seed selection until the last corn and soybeans are in the bin, Seed Advisors and NK retailers are there to help growers make the right decisions for their fields, overcome challenges and maximize yield on every acre.”