Bayer increasing crop sustainability with short-stature corn hybrid

Kelly Gillespie shows the difference in height of short corn vs. regular corn, noting that a sprayer boom clears the short-corn at full maturity.

Next year, Bayer Crop Science will commercially launch the Smart Corn System, powered by a new corn hybrid that is 30% shorter than the average corn plant.

Bayer’s Kelly Gillespie tells Brownfield shorter stalks make it less susceptible to green snap, proven by test plots that happened to be in the path of the 2020 derecho.

“In the trial locations where we saw windspeeds anywhere from 50-75 miles per hour, we did start to see some damage in short corn but only in that 10-15% range, while we were seeing devastating damage in tall corn. In some cases, those fields were completely unharvestable.”

The shorter stalks also allow farmers the ability to run a sprayer boom over the top even at full maturity, instead of contracting an aerial sprayer.

“A lot of times growers have to schedule those well before they even know they have disease pressure so this allows growers to make in-season, real time decisions.”

Gillespie says they’ve also successfully increased the number of plants per acre, without sacrificing stalk diameter and strength- creating opportunity for more yield.

Brownfield interviewed Gillepsie during the 2022 Bayer Crop Science Field Technology Showcase.

Interview with Kelly Gillespie

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