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New Beck’s corn root research showing promise

New research into corn root volume and architecture is leading to a better understanding of hybrid selection and crop management.

Jim Schwartz, director of research, agronomy, and PFR at Beck’s Hybrids, tells Brownfield they’ve teamed with Purdue, the University of Illinois, and others to intensely study the root mass of a corn plant…

“Our data is tending to indicate that perhaps vertical root architectures, maybe they perform better in low yielding environments under stress.”  He says, “That’s one thing that we think we’re seeing that we want to continue to explore.”

Schwartz says the development of special “corn root boxes” has been key…

“When you dig in the field, you’re breaking off so many roots, so it gives us a visual look into root volume and root architecture and even root structure of the individual roots as well that we’ve never really been able to see before,” he says.

He tells Brownfield their early findings could lead to changes in production practices…

“If you think about as we continue to increase plant populations and the root volume declines,” he says, “does that impact how and where we place our fertility?”

Schwartz says Beck’s Root Reveal research is a long-term endeavor and he looks forward to the insight the research will provide in the next three to five years.

AUDIO – Jim Schwartz at Beck’s Hybrids

Picture courtesy of Beck’s Hybrids

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