November Newsletter: A Look at the Trends, Specialty Hybrids, & a Corn Recipe

Take a glimpse at our 2016 November Newsletter!

Global Warming: Is the Corn Belt Moving North?


Source: AgWeb

There have been some apparent changes in the growing season in the central Corn Belt; the onset of spring is earlier and with warmer temperatures. In our nearby area of Polk, Story and Boone counties, farmers start thinking about planting in early April, kind of like spring fever, but most would start by April 21 mostly because of crop insurance requirements. Temperature progression is faster and it results in early planted fields flowering about a week earlier than normal.  Farmers that plant RM 110 hybrids in the last week of April saw flowering around July 10th and fields were fully matured by September 15. This leaves lots of season for drying the corn in the field, for planting cover crops or for thinking about relay cover crop planting. The longer planting season also opens the opportunity for planting longer season hybrids with better adaptation to the season changes.

What does this mean for hybrid choices?  What should one be looking for in hybrids?  Later maturity hybrids with good yield stability, heat and drought tolerance, disease tolerance are important traits to maintain good and stable yields with good harvestability. Breeding companies with active breeding programs select lines and hybrids over a period of years.  This allows breeders to follow the weather changes as they come so that the resulting products would reflect the seasonality variations encountered during the development of a hybrid.

Hybrid Choices for Your Farm 
 GEI 9717 (RM 110-112)
 A new hybrid that has good yield stability, good tolerance to heat and drought and good disease tolerance. This hybrid is a hard endosperm type with characteristics suitable for the milling and food industries.  This hybrid has excellent grain quality, good nutritional value and good storability for on farm use for feed as grain. This hybrid is also good for silage. Learn More
 GEI 9700 (RM 108)
An early hybrid with consistent yield; good companion hybrid to GEI 9717.  This hybrid has excellent yield for maturity, very good standability and good all around agronomic package. It can be planted at high populations and can take advantage of good fertility and good growing conditions.  This hybrid has medium to tall plant height with good stress tolerance.  It flowers early and completes its maturity early in the season for an early harvest. Learn More
Corn Specialties
 Waxy Corn Hybrid:
GEI 9700wx (RM 110)
 An early hybrid with waxy type endosperm starch. This hybrid is a specialty hybrid for the food industry but it is also a good option for feed as grain or silage because of the high starch digestibility and feed efficiency (amount of feed used per pound of gain). This hybrid has a good tolerance to disease, has good stay green and good heat tolerance. Learn More
 High Carotenoid Corn Hybrid: GEI 2318
 This hybrid was released in small amounts in 2015.  This hybrid excels in grain quality and nutritional value. The grain is dark orange, hard texture flint type with high provitamin A and zeaxanthin content.  The hybrid is late RM 114 with excellent stay green, good tolerance to heat and drought and excellent foliar disease tolerance. This hybrid can be planted in the RM 110-112 zone, but it will flower late and would need the full season to mature and dry. We harvested this hybrid with 18% moisture in late October, same as an organic farmer in Panora, Iowa. GEI 2318 harvested at the end of October with 16% moisture in southern Iowa where farmers can grow late hybrids with this maturity. The excellent stay green and plant integrity is remarkable and it can stay in the field until the desired moisture is obtained for harvesting.  Yield expectations for this hybrid vary depending on fertility levels, rainfall and agronomic practices.  The real value for this hybrid depends on the end use application. The greatest value is for milling of products for food and second for poultry feed. Learn More
 High Anthocyanins Corn Hybrid: GEI 411C (RM 110)
 This hybrid has a high content of anthocyanin pigments with antioxidant and nutraceutical health promoting benefits. This hybrid has a red pericarp and an aleurone layer with deep purple blue pigments. The grain has good quality and has been received good ratings for flavor and suitability for nixtamalized products and for flour for bakery products.

The hybrid has a good yield for maturity, good tolerance to foliar diseases, good grain quality and a good agronomic package. This hybrid responds well to good management and good agronomic practices with plant populations between 28-30 M per acre. Learn More

High Lysine Hybrids 
 GEI 101 lys (RM  102-105 northern areas, RM 108 in central Corn Belt)
 This is a biofortified corn hybrid with high quality protein in the endosperm (protein similar to milk and egg). We have had this hybrid for a few years.  This hybrid is good for food (snacks and flour) and for feed as grain for formulating rations for pigs and poultry.  The advantage is in the reduction of the need of soybean protein in the ration and better feed efficiency (less feed used for pounds of gain obtained) because of the higher digestibility of the high lysine corn starches. Learn More
 High Lysine for Corn Silage
 The advantage of high lysine corn for silage is primarily in the soft texture of the grain and in the chemical composition of the endosperm. The endosperm of the high lysine corn is soft, improving silage fermentation in the silo. The starch in the endosperm is more digestible than normal corn. This improves feed efficiency and the amount of milk yield/acre.
 GEI 9887 lys (RM 95 northern areas)
 This is an early hybrid with the same qualities of hybrid GEI 101 lys. The advantage is that farmers can plant and harvest grain with storage moisture in the hybrid area of adaptation where the other hybrid might be a little late with higher moisture at harvest. Learn More

Specialty Spotlight: Hard Endosperm Corns

What is a hard endosperm corn?  A hard endosperm corn has a density of 1.30 and higher, a corn with this density will have a test weight of 60 – 65 lbs /bushel.  A hard endosperm corn has also a higher ratio of hard endosperm to soft endosperm in the kernel and a 100 kernel weight greater than 36 g.

Why is hard endosperm corn a specialty? Hard endosperm hybrids have to be developed and selected with the same criteria of normal hybrids but with the kernel qualities needed for the food and feed industries. For the food industry the hard endosperm corns would produce a nixtamal with a moisture content of less than 42% than can be milled and dried to obtain nixtamalized flour with a moisture content of less than 11%. For dry milling a hard texture corn would have a high yield of grits with a low amount of flour byproduct.

Hard endosperm corns have a lower drying rate and have to remain in the field longer to achieve lower levels of moisture at harvest.  Historically, breeders select hybrids with faster dry down in the field, favoring lower test weight hybrids. This has reduced the availability of hard endosperm hybrids. GEI is developing a line of hard endosperm corn hybrids covering all the maturities from RM 95-115.  Available now is GEI 9717 (RM 110 – 112)

We are formulating plans to produce seed of an early RM 100 and a late RM 114 hybrid in 2017 for planting in 2018.

Recipe: High Lysine Corn Cookies

 If you’re going to feed your family something fun, make it nutritious! Our high lysine corn flour makes for a high quality protein disguised as a tasty treat…

1 cup margarine or butter

1 ½ cups sugar

3 eggs

1 ½ teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

3 cups whole grain flour

1 cup high lysine corn flour  (GEI 101 lys)

1 ½ teaspoon nutmeg or cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

Cream sugar and butter or margarine.  Add eggs and beat until fluffy.  Add extract.  Mix and add dry ingredients.  Chill in refrigerator.  Roll dough into balls, flatten and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake at 400° for 12 minutes.  (Best to use parchment paper)  Leave on the cookie sheet a few minutes to finish the cooking.

How can you get specialty flours for your baking? Minnesota-based Whole Grain Milling has high lysine corn flour and mixtures.