You’re Invited: Our Upcoming Field Day

Field Day: Agricultural Technologies for Maximum Yield in Organic & Conventional Production Systems

On September 7th, GEI corn breeders Mary Jane and Alix Paez will be hosting a field day at their Luther, IA research location. The field day will include a seminar covering topics of current interest to farmers producing conventional or organic corn. There will also be a hybrid observation with 22 conventional and specialty hybrids. Lunch will be served, featuring various unique specialty corns. Read on for an itinerary, details on the topics to be covered, and how to RSVP.

Event Details

Location: 3 Boone Street, Luther, Iowa 50152
Intersection of State Highway 17 and County Road E57
Time:  9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
RSVPs are required.  This event is limited to a maximum of 50 attendees.
Please RSVP to or (515) 278-1170 by Thursday, August 31st.

Program Schedule

9:30 a.m.
9:40-9:50 a.m.
Introduction by Alix V. Paez , Genetic Enterprises International
9:50-10:05 a.m.  
Agronomic Practices to maximize corn yield – Alix V. Paez
10:05-10:25 a.m.
U.S. Testing Network (USTN) – Practical Farmers of Iowa
10:25-10:40 a.m.
Production of non-GMO and organic corn hybrids using the Purity Plus™ System, Brown Seed Genetics
10:40-10:55 a.m.
Genetic systems available to control cross pollination from GMO corn hybrids under field conditions – Dr. Paul Scott , USDA-ARS, Ames, Iowa
10:55-11:10 a.m.
Use of color sorters to improve seed purity in non-GMO and organic specialty corns. Alan Gaul, Seed Conditioning Specialist, Seed Science Center, ISU
11:10-11:15 a.m.
Hybrid Observation introduction – CORN SPECIALTIES
11:25-12:15 p.m.    
22 Hybrid observation – from RM 95 to RM 114
12:15 p.m.
Lunch made with GEI corn specialties
Field Day Topic: Yield, Hybrid Selection & Achieving Maximum Yield at the Farm
Agronomic practices to maximize corn yield
The presenter will discuss the most current agronomic practices used by farmers to maximize yield. The presentation will follow the logical sequence of activities to plan and execute a well formulated plan to achieve the best yield results. Examples of success stories available will be discussed. The presenter will use a power point format to illustrate the agronomic practices under discussion.
U.S. Testing Network (USTN)
The presenter will explain the history of the U.S testing network organized by the Practical Farmers of Iowa with the purpose of providing the possibility for independent breeders and seed merchandisers to test new or commercially available non-GMO and organic hybrids in a regional network of locations.
Field Day Topic: Genetic Purity in Seed & Grain Production
Production of non-GMO and organic corn hybrids using the Purity Plus™ System
The presence of GMO traits in the seed and grain from adventitious contaminations have been a problem with the increased use of GMO seed in the market. This system from Brown Seed Genetics will be discussed. This system reduces the amount of adventitious contamination in the seed and describes the practices to follow to insure maximum purity compliance and the oversight of agencies that support this effort.
Genetic system to prevent the incidence of adventitious cross pollination
There are genetic systems that can be bred into hybrids to prevent adventitious contaminations from unrelated hybrids. Dr. Paul Scott, USDA-ARS breeder, will explain how the Ga1 system works and the status of the inbred conversion to this genetic system. This system has the potential of providing a good genetic barrier to non-GMO contaminations in farmer’s fields.
Use of color sorters to improve seed purity in non-GMO and organic specialty corns
Alan Gaul will explain the use of color sorters to separate seed lacking uniformity in a seed lot. This could be color, shape or damage that cannot be separated by density differences. Color sorters can also be used to separate contaminants from the seed or grain of specialty corns. Most of the specialty corns are modified protein corns such as high lysine or modified starch corns such as waxy and high amylose. There are also anthocyanin and white corns that could be contaminated. These specialties are endosperm mutants that have endosperm types different than normal corn. Cross contamination with normal corn will override the endosperm mutation and manifest itself as a normal kernel. Color sorters can be set up to separate these contaminants in the seed or grain. Other specialties that do not show segregation to normal corn can also be improved by fixing the ideal phenotype in the color sorter.

“Lemons” for a Farmer

During a recent trip to Ecuador, we visited a cousin’s farm. There was a large bag of lemons ready to be sold. We asked how much he could make with that bag. He said he would get $3.00. My brother was astounded. He said that in Quito, he paid $1.00 for 3 lemons. Does this story bring to mind any similarities to the price of corn this fall?