Corn near harvest

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The 2018 University of Illinois corn hybrid tests, at 13 locations across the state, produced fairly typical results, with good yields overall and some weather-related variations.

“It was a pretty routine year for us this year. Not anything crazy,” said Darin Joos, principal research specialist in the university’s Crop Science Department at Urbana-Champaign.

Other than a dry band across the state, many of the corn hybrids tested yielded well, with Goodfield at the Woodford County location in central Illinois averaging 283 bushels per acre, the crop scientist said.

Yields were lower in parts of Livingston and Warren counties, at the Dwight and Monmouth sites, for example. Both areas missed rain for several weeks during the growing season.

“Rain was short; yields reflect that,” Joos said.

In northern Illinois, one batch of tests was not recorded because there was an issue with nitrogen, he said.

Above Interstate 80, there was a lot of talk about tar spot.

“Rainy weather helped spur the disease and bulk it up,” he said.

Currently, there are no hybrid choices specifically to fight the fungal disease, said Nathan Kleczewski, University of Illinois Extension plant pathologist. He said each company has some hybrids that do a little better against the disease than others.

Farmers are interested in the university trials because they provide an unbiased third-party test of corn hybrid and soybean variety choices, Joos said. The tests are paid for by seed companies, which select the hybrids, and the crop care and data gathering are done by university staff.

Phyllis Coulter is Northern Illinois field editor, writing for Illinois Farmer Today, Iowa Farmer Today and Missouri Farmer Today.