| Seed Corn Traits - Ear Flex question ?|
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central - east central Minnesota -
Need a few bags of 95-100 day conventional corn -
Down here the earliest corn is in the 110 day range, so I cant say for sure. The varieties we use if it says anything about flex it seems to flex good. Most of the time the suggested population will tell you, for example DKC6563 is a Simi-flex ear, suggests 26000 to 32000. DKC 6805, flex ear, 24000 to 30000, DKC6469, fixed ear, 30000 to 34000. Seems down here the higher population the less it flexes. Sometimes I have found that a corn that is considered fixed will flex, I had some DKC6469 that had some stand issues due to spotty frost. Most of those ears where stand was 28000+, was 16 rows round, 40 long. Where there was stand issues I found some 20 round, 50 long, on the top ear, and a 14 x 30 bottom ear, makes you wonder???? These plants were in low spots where moisture will hang on through dry spells, didn't stress near as much as the thicker stand. Also seems the new corn coming to market is all fixed ear, seems the corn company's want to loose the flex trait.
|Hybrids that will adjust to growing conditions by changing ear size which allows them to take better advantage of optimum growing conditions. Some hybrids are called "fixed-ear" hybrids and are thought to have a fixed ear size which cannot adjust to the environment. The perception is that a flex hybrid can adjust to good growing conditions and increase its ear size and yield while a fixed ear hybrid cannot. Plant population is therefore considered more important for a fixed-ear hybrid than for a flex-ear hybrid.|
|In my experience I would NOT call DKC 64-69 a fixed ear. I had my stand thinned out due to killing about 3% with Roundup this past year and overall, the field made HUGE ears. Biggest, most consistent ears I have seen corn make. Made 245 bu/ac. I would say it flexes pretty well unless it just makes a big ear no matter what conditions warrant. So, I'm with you cotncrzy, on this one. Sometimes traits and characteristics are not accurately advertised.|
|64 69 definately a flex ear. 66 96 is fixed.|
|If you wish to have the potential to add yield with the same plant population go with a true flex ear. In great growing conditions they use the conditions to produce longer, thicker and more dense ears. |
Most hybrids today have a semi-flex style ears. This can be said in different ways, such as medium flex, good flex etc. But in my opinion there is either a fixed, semi-flex or a true flex ear. If you can think back to early hybrid corns, they had huge ears because they were flex ears planted at 16k to 18k population. Given advanced genetics and traits now, we can push the yields by pushing the populations up, giving us more healthy plants per acres, but smaller ears.
In my opinion, hybrid ear flex is the number one concern when going for high yields. Usually a true flex ear are considered 'race horse hybrids' meant to be put on best ground for highest potential. Contrarily, it's the number one factor in finding a hybrid that works on your poor ground. There are two basic schools of thought for this. Some people argue you should put a fixed ear and plant it thicker on your poor ground. This gives you the advantage of more plants with consistent(usually smaller) ears. Thus on an average year, the more plants equals more yield per acre. The flip side is to argue that a flex ear works better on poor ground because you can plant it at a lesser population. This saves you seed costs and could still allow for the same yield in a an average year, because the ear will adjust to a lesser population.
Ear flex is a management decision that depends on desired outcomes and risks. Fixed ears usually produce steady and predictable outcomes whereas a flex ear has more highs and low potential from what I've seen and experienced.
There are only 3 types of ears: flex, semi-flex and determinant. Before I'd select a hybrid from a seed guide, I would ask a pointed question about it's ear type from the seed rep. If he's not sure, have him nail down one of their company agronomists. What some call good ear flex in their literature may not be a fully flex ear. There can be a large difference.
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