K-State Research and Extension cropping systems specialist Ignacio Ciampitti explains what researchers can learn from past corn hybrids when breeding better hybrids in the future.
Ciampitti says the lessons learned go beyond productivity of the crop, and extend to changes in nitrogen uptake and various traits, such as the size of the plant and size of the ears.
Doctoral student Josefina Lacasa helped to identify changes in corn hybrids over time for a study that was supported by K-State, Corteva Agrosciences and Kansas Corn. Lacasa said some of the changes researchers found between older and newer corn hybrids include differences in tassel size and leaf angles, which affect the way that light reaches the plant.
Ciampitti said building strategic partnerships – including university, industry and producers – is key to improving the resiliency of corn hybrids over time.