Western Piedmont Corn Variety Trail 2023

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Since the USDA’s first corn yield records in 1866, there have been significant advancements in corn production. Initially averaging 26 bushels per acre, corn yields have steadily increased, thanks largely to the introduction of hybrid varieties in the 1930s. Corn hybrids, initially met with skepticism but proved their worth by thriving in challenging conditions like the 1936 drought.

Today, corn serves multiple purposes, from animal feed to ingredients in everyday products. Understanding this, the North Carolina Official Variety Trial (OVT) program and the Western Piedmont Corn Variety Trial (Caldwell, Cleveland, Davie, Rowan, Wilkes, and Yadkin counties), provide vital yield data on corn varieties to growers. These trials help farmers choose the most effective varieties for their region. 

Dr. Chad Poole’s Water Resiliency Corn Hybrid Performance Trial further enhances understanding by assessing how different hybrids perform under varied water conditions. This is crucial for predicting how varieties perform in less than optimum conditions.

Farmers can leverage these comprehensive datasets, as well as their own on-farm experience, to select varieties that maximize yield and suit their specific farming conditions. For guidance with these selection tools contact your local agricultural extension agent. Supporting farms and farmers is vital for rural economies across North Carolina.Western Piedmont Corn Variety Trial

This work would not be possible without the assistance of the seed corn companies, County Agricultural Extension Agents, and most importantly the local cooperating farmers. 

Cooperating Farmers

Caldwell County Mountain Crest, Mike Willis
Cleveland County ASR Grain Company, Andrew White and Steve Greene
Davie County Sam Howard
Rowan County, Jimmy Howard
Wilkes County Cranberry Farm, Talmadge Mathis
Yadkin County Shady Grove Dairy Inc., Maurice Smitherman