September Newsletter: Field Day Recap & Current Activities

Thank You to All Field Day Attendees:

Our field day on September 7 th turned out well. We were delighted to welcome old friends and new people interested in what we do. There was a lot of interaction with questions and answers. For those who couldn’t make it, we can recap a few highlights.

Agronomic Practices to Maximize Corn Yields

The presenter discussed the NCGA (National Corn Growers Association) corn yield contest and the agronomic practices used by contestant farmers to obtain yields exceeding 300 bu/ac. The important considerations examined were:
  • Hybrid selection
  • Yield potential (most important)
  • Crop rotation (used mostly corn following beans)
  • Plant population (32M-38M most common)
  • Row width (30 inch for the majority (78%) of farmers)
  • Planting dates varied by region (in the central corn belt mid April to early May)
  • Nitrogen application (1.0 lb/bushel of grain harvested and 0.5 lbs/bushel for stover produced)
  • Nitrogen application applied as closely as possible to crop uptake (most contestants had in season nitrogen application either as side dressing or at the times of irrigation)

US Testing Network (USTN)

This is organized and managed by the Practical Farmers of Iowa. The network provides a yield test program that allows non-GMO and organic corn breeders, and seed marketers to test corn hybrids in a network of testing locations within the appropriate maturity zones. The network covers the relative maturities RM 95 to RM 115. Information about this network is available in the Practical Farmers of Iowa website.

Non-GMO Purity for Conventional & Organic Corn

Our Field Day also presented additional topics related to non-GMO purity both on conventional and organic corn.
The Purity Plus™ System proposed by Brownseed Genetics emphasizes:
  • Genetic purity of the inbred parents used for the production of non-GMO and organic corn hybrids
  • The seed production practices that are used to insure that there is no adventitious pollen contaminations
  • The appropriate use of the seed by grain producers to take advantage of the seed purity standards used.
Gametophytic Pollen Control
Dr. Paul Scott (USDA-ARS) discussed the gametophyte systems that can be bred into corn hybrids that will help prevent cross pollination from corn pollen that do not carry these traits. Corn hybrids carrying this trait are available for some organic hybrids. We anticipate that more hybrids with these traits will be offered in the future.
Use of Color Sorters
Alan Gaul (ISU Seed Science Center) discussed the use of color sorters to improve seed and grain quality. Color sorters can be used with specialty corns to separate seed segregations to insure purity. The use of different color filters would allow separating color and seeding type differences if any from seed or grain.


After the presentations, attendees went to view the display of 23 hybrids ranging from RM 95 to RM 114. If you want to see this display of conventional and specialty hybrids, let us know.
Here are some samples:

GEI 9717

GEI 9700

GEI 114 lys

GEI 9584w

GEI Specialty Corn Used for Meal

A highlight from our Field Day was the individual cornmeal pizzas that were served to showcase some uses for our nutrient-rich hybrids. The cornmeal came from our high carotene hybrid (GEI 2318) milled by Early Morning Harvest in Panora, Iowa. Blue corn tortillas (GEI 411C) from Papa’s Blue Cornmeal (sold through Amazon) were the base for refried beans, queso fresco and smoked brisket or smoked pulled chicken. High lysine cornmeal cookies were made from our GEI 101 lys, grown and milled by Whole Grain Milling Co. in Welcome, Minnesota.




Current Activities

It took awhile to prepare for the field day. It took no time at all to return the shed to research mode. We have been busy harvesting nursery rows so we can send seed to winter nursery in Chile for crossing and increasing.
We recently went to see production fields of two of our newest hybrids: GEI 9584, a white 110 day corn and GEI 114 lys, a 114 day high lysine corn. Both fields looked good with good seed set anticipated.
Seed Sale Season
The beginning of the seed sale season traditionally starts in August. We have updated our seed catalog to include the new hybrids mentioned above. We are revising our website to include information about these hybrids and hybrid placement. We had a good production season and we anticipate that we will have good supplies of seed for conventional and specialty hybrids. If you have plans for a particular specialty, let us know soon.
We have good reports back on the performance of GEI 9717 (hard endosperm) and GEI 9700.
Contact Us: or (515) 865-8834