2015 Corn Silage Hybrids

Coastal Trials

Interior Trials

Table 4. Dates & Corn Heat Units 2015

Year Location Planting Date Harvest Date Growing Days 2015 CHU Average CHU Years of CHU Average
2015 Abbotsford May 13 Sept 3 113 2508 2017 54
Agassiz May 1 Sept 10 132 2901 2615 23
Enderby May 9 Sept 20 134 2911 2713 23

Pacific Field Corn Association

Report on 2015 Field Trials

Silage Hybrid Evaluation:

The number of hybrids submitted for testing was 80, an increase of three from last year. Table 1 shows entry numbers since 2001. Fifty-three early hybrids and 27 late hybrids were submitted. Twenty-three in the Abbotsford Early test and 15 in the Agassiz Late test were submitted for the first time. Table 2 summarizes age profile of entries. The number of clients was eight, down from nine last year. DLF Pickseed returned after a year absence. Dow Seeds now includes the previously separate clients, Hyland Seeds, Mycogen Seeds and Syngenta Canada Inc. One company indicated they are revamping their breeding program and plan to return next year. The Interior trial located at Enderby continued for a fifth year.

Table 1. Number of Entries per year

Table 2. Summary of entries for 2015

Location Total New Entries Two Years Three Years >= Four Years
Abbotsford 53 23 13 7 10
Agassiz 27 15 5 2 5
Enderby 24 12 3 5 4


Table 3. Summary of Trial Averages

Table 4. Dates & Corn Heat Units (at the top of this page)

Detailed tables for Abbotsford, Agassiz and Enderby are shown in the links at the top of this page.

Overall growing conditions in the lower mainland were excellent throughout the season with respect to temperatures and corn heat units. However, the severe drought conditions significantly impacted yields and irrigation was required to maintain decent yields. Early May plantings in the Agassiz area were subjected to both heat and moisture stress during June. By late June/early July it became evident that irrigation was required to obtain decent yields. Late May and even early June plantings seemed to fair somewhat better because they avoided the sudden heat stress of earlier plantings and possibly developed deeper rooting depths. Most fields required irrigation to obtain reasonable whole crop and grain yields. Some fields with late plantings did perform well without irrigation possibly due to deeper rooting depths, better water holding capacity of the soils, a few timely rain events and presence of subsurface moisture

The harvest date at Abbotsford was brought forward by about ten to fourteen days because of a wind storm event that occurred August 29th which resulted in significant lodging for some hybrids. Yields at Abbotsford were very close to both 2014 and 2013 yields despite having a significantly shorter growing period in 2015. Yields were maintained due to excellent heat unit accumulation and timely and ample irrigation. Figure 3 shows how heat units tracked higher through the entire growing period and at an accumulated CHU value of 2508 were 24% higher than the 54 year average. Both whole crop dry matter and grain percentage were lower than 2013 and 2014 due to the shorter growing period.

Note about Lodging for the Abbotsford site: Lodging is calculated from count of total plants lodged. Yield is the total yield of all plants, including those that were lodged, harvested September 3 2015. Main lodging event occurred Saturday August 29th when the remnants of a Pacific cyclone hit the southern B.C. coast. Lodging counts were taken Monday August 31st. Some additional lodging occurred between August 29th and 31st and when final counts were made September 2nd.

Yields at Agassiz for 2015 were 10% lower compared to the 2014 season likely due to heat and moisture stress in June that occurred before irrigation was applied. Whole crop dry matter was lower by 4.2% compared to 2014 but was the same as 2013. The anomaly for dry matter percentage was 2014 due to drying winds before harvest. Grain percentage was up 3% compared to 2014 and close to values in 2013. The number of growing days and heat units were very similar for the last three years.

Fifth year results for Enderby had an average yield of 18.7 t/ha, up significantly from 2013 and 2014 yields. Whole crop dry matter content was lower by 4.4% compared to 2014 while grain content was 1.1% higher. Trial location was again moved to a new area of the co-operators farm to avoid field variability experienced in previous years. However, some field variability persisted with one side of the trial being damaged having several plots with missing plants. CV for dry matter yield was 9.91% which is an improvement from previous years. About 10% of the plot data was discarded.

Corn heat units at Agassiz for the May 1 to September 30 period were 3224, almost exactly the same as 3231 for 2014 and close to 3174 for 2013. The last three years are the highest three calculated from 124 years of Agassiz weather data.