There are so many exciting things coming out in the seed corn industry for 2023!

SmartStax PRO is a new trait stacking a new mode of action on top of the multiple Bt’s that have been included in the SmartStax platform. RNAi is used to interfere with the corn rootworm’s ability to produce a protein needed for its survival. This third mode of action helps overcome rootworm resistance to any of the Bt traits. The step up in control has been impressive in private and university trials. If you haven’t seen it yourself, go to a field day between now and harvest.

While the industry jumps on SmartStax PRO as quickly as possible due to improved rootworm control, don’t lose sight of the fact that you still need fantastic genetics that will perform for you on your farm. We found two hybrids at key maturities that are great in their own right, plus they carry the SmartStax PRO trait: H4964 at 99-day and H5764 at 107-day.
Trecepta is another key trait platform that is really showing out this summer. It stacks the aboveground protection of VT Double PRO (corn borers and more) with additional protection against bugs like Western bean cutworm. Hefty Brand Corn has four key Trecepta hybrids to watch this summer in H5055 (100-day), H5655 (106-day), H6145 (111-day), and 6355 (113-day).

The DroughtGard trait is a little misunderstood as Western drought stress is different than in other parts of the country. Also, some DroughtGard products work better on irrigated ground where water may be somewhat limited versus on a pure dryland field. Hefty Brand Corn has DroughtGard hybrids from 96-day to 114-day that fit the bill of being tough enough for the dryland acre but also with top-end yield potential for the ideal weather year. For 2023, we will offer more units with the DroughtGard trait than ever before!

That leads into an important point. With all the supply issues plaguing our industry, don’t let seed corn be one of them for your farm. We have great supply on Hefty Brand Corn, but as one of the fastest growing brands in the country, we expect to sell out of many of our new numbers before the highest prepay discounts are over. We encourage you to book your seed early to ensure you get the best selection for your farm.

Finally, two new disease challenges to prepare for: tar spot and physoderma. You’ve definitely heard about and may have already experienced tar spot. Hybrid tolerance is not great, at least not strong enough to be the only defense against tar spot. However, this latest class of Hefty Brand Corn hybrids has been judged on tar spot in research for several years, with many hybrids standing out with above average tolerance.
The same can be said for physoderma tolerance. There are some new Hefty Brand Corn hybrids with strong tolerance to physoderma. With improved field drainage and a solid fungicide protection package, you can see significant improvement in corn yields with fewer physoderma problems.

Everyone says YIELD is their number one factor in choosing the hybrids and seed company they want to work with. I don’t believe that for a second. Yes, yield is table stakes. You’ve got to have that, but it’s the relationship with someone who can help you solve tough agronomic challenges so you can achieve your profit objectives that’s number one. We hope you choose the 2023 class of Hefty Brand Corn hybrids and our agronomic support to help you win this year.