After some wet weather on the Southern Downs in late September 2022, grower Phil Crothers opted to sow 140 hectares of former barley paddocks with zero-till corn.
The soil’s heavy moisture profile meant the planting rig bogged several times but Mr Crothers decided to push on nevertheless.
From planting until tasselling, the largest single in-crop rainfall was 14 mm in early January.
“We then had about a week of wet weather just before harvest,” Mr Crothers said from his Willowvale property, 10 km north of Warwick on the Southern Downs.
P1837 is considered a full season grain/silage corn, so it subsequently had to rely on sub-soil moisture until harvest.
Before the January rain, the corn had already tasselled and was in a “world of hurt”, Mr Crothers said.
“To my absolute amazement, the P1837 still put on really nice cobs.”
As expected, some areas with shallow soil depth didn’t do quite as well.
“On the flats it was a different story,” he said.
“The P1837 performed amazingly well under the circumstances.”
Preferred hybrid for processors
He was delighted with the 9.6 tonne/hectare dryland yield.
“The kernel size was magnificent and it’s now a preferred hybrid for processors, so I really liked it.”
The absence of any disease or pest problems didn’t go unnoticed either.
“To be fair, the ground hadn’t had corn for several years … but it was really good from a disease point-of-view.”
“The grain quality was spot on. We achieved 80 kg/ hectolitre at testing.”
“If I was going to plant corn and I had a clean paddock, I wouldn’t hesitate to plant P1837 again,” he said.
Pioneer Seeds recommends P1837 corn for processing, silage or grain feed. The hybrid offers a wide range of adaptability in areas from southern NSW to northern Australia, with exceptional grain yield and good defence scores against northern leaf blight and fusarium.