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November Newsletter

Welcome to the November edition of our information exchange platform!   This month we’ll share new hybrid selections and their data results, plus a recipe that’s sure to make Fido happy this holiday season.

Organic Practices that Challenge the Production System

Many organic farmers plant their corn fields late to avoid cross pollination from neighboring fields planted to GMO corn hybrids. This practice seems like a sensible thing to do. However, it is important to know the maturity of the hybrid in the adjoining field, the size of the field and the distance away to establish a base to estimate the field delay.

The other factor is knowing the heat unit accumulation during the month when planting is going to be made, i.e. May, to estimate the actual flowering delay of the two hybrids.  Another factor to consider is to minimize the pollen contamination for the entire shedding period which can be 150-175 H.U. delay (equivalent to 10 days during planting assuming both hybrids have the same maturity). An extra security would be to plant a 10 row strip of a Puramaize™ hybrid as a buffer.

Another agronomic practice that challenges the organic production system is the management of cover crops and the termination of the cover crop to prepare the seed bed for planting. Late planting of cover crops in the fall will delay plant establishment and shorten the growing cycle before the unset of winter conditions. The short growing period for the cover crop in the spring and the length of the termination period and plant tissue decomposition after termination are factors that contribute to a late planting and potential reduction of yield and a late harvest.

It is important for these reasons to develop a plan to manage the production system and to develop realistic time lines of application of agronomic practices. One agronomic practice that might be considered is the use of relay planting . Relay planting is used in the tropics to maximize the use of the land and the growing season. In a relay system, planting an early hybrid is followed by early harvest of the first crop i.e. corn or rice, followed by a second crop of soybeans. A relay planting in the temperate zone could be to have an early planting of corn followed with a cover crop that would be terminated in the early spring of the following year to allow for a timely planting of the main crop that second year. All the organic practices seem to require early hybrids suitable to early or late planting depending on the management strategy.

Genetic Enterprises International is developing a line of early hybrids with good yield for maturity and good adaptation to out of area plantings. We have a new hybrid release “GEI 9010 ORGANIC RM 95“ to complement GEI 9700 treated RM 108 in the central and northern corn belt (See Hybrid placement map for area of adaptation on the website).

GEI 9010 Yield Data 2017 Northern Areas

New Hybrid Selections for 2018 & 2019

Following are the results of a wide area yield test conducted in Illinois and Indiana in 2017. The plot work was managed by the U.S. Testing Network (PFI). These data and the data obtained by in house GEI research in Iowa over a period of years are used to make hybrid selections and commercial decisions for production and sales. The three GEI hybrids have good yield for maturity and good agronomic characteristics.

NIR Chemical Composition of GEI Specialty Corns 2017

The NIR data were collected using grain samples of ten representative ears per hybrid from the GEI expo, planted in the GEI research field in Luther, IA. It is worth noting the elevated protein-oil content of the hard endosperm corn hybrids.

The highest protein + oil hybrid is GEI 2318 , a high pro vitamin A hybrid (protein + oil =17.6).  Hybrids with a density of 1.30 or above are considered good milling hybrids. The two hybrids with the highest density were GEI 2318 and GEI 9717. Both of these hybrids are available.

Holiday Gift Recipe: Nutritious Dog Treats

Each month, we look for interesting recipes to try and to publish in the newsletter. We found a dog treat on Allrecipes that seemed promising. It had both corn flour and cornmeal listed as ingredients. For people purchasing pet food, corn used in the manufacture of this food is regarded as no better than sawdust. #2 yellow corn is used for food but isn’t nearly as nutritious as our specialty corn hybrids.

I decided to make two batches of the treats using high lysine flour ( GEI 101 lys ) and high carotene cornmeal ( GEI 2318 ) in one batch and high anthocyanin ( GEI 411C ) in the other. I did this to see if a dog would show any preference for one treat over the other.

My test subjects were my sister’s dog (Charlie) in Urbandale, my son’s dog (Boo) in Denver and my daughter’s dog (Lucy) in upstate New York. All three dogs loved the treats regardless of the ingredients! Lucy anticipates her treat by wagging her tail like a windshield wiper in a deluge. If you have a dog friend that you would like to give a holiday treat with something actually nutritious, give these a try.

Sparky’s Doggie Treats

Ingredients
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup corn flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
Method
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets.
  • Mix the dry ingredients together.
  • Liquify the peanut butter by microwaving it for a few seconds. Stir the wet ingredients together and then mix in with the dry ingredients.
  • Roll out the dough and cut with cute cookie cutters or cut into bite sized pieces.
  • Bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Leave the treats on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes before you remove them. Store in an airtight container.

Sources for the ingredients:

High carotene ( GEI 2318 ) Early Morning Harvest , Panora, IA
High anthocyanin ( GEI 411C ) Amazon – Papa’s Whole Grain Blue Cornmeal
High lysine ( GEI 101 lys ) Whole Grain Milling , Welcome, MN