BMR Hybrids That Offer the Best of Both Worlds

Dairy operations have seen improved digestibility in brown midrib (BMR) hybrids, but along with that advantage they've had to deal with consistently lower yields and poorer agronomic traits.

DuPont Pioneer now offers a range of BMR hybrids with the same digestibility gains along with improved yields, agronomics and disease resistance. For 2015, Pioneer® brand BMR hybrids include:

  • P0238XR (HXX,LL,RR2), a 102-day maturity
  • P0783XR (HXX,LL,RR2), a 107-day maturity
  • P1180XR (HXX,LL,RR2), a 111-day maturity

In addition, Pioneer is offering a new integrated refuge BMR product, Pioneer® P1449AMXTM brand.   Featuring Optimum® AcreMax® Xtra Insect Protection, this product is a single-bag refuge product for areas needing above- and below-ground insect protection. Pioneer on-farm trials show Optimum® AcreMax® Xtra products yield equivalent to pure stands of products with Herculex® XTRA insect protection. This allows growers to maximize overall yields. P1449AMX is a 114 silage CRM that complements the current BMR lineup.

All four products offer the digestibility benefits of traditional BMR products with improved agronomic traits.

"Traditionally, BMR hybrids from other seed companies yielded 10% to 20% less than other corn hybrids," says Bill Powel-Smith, a DuPont Pioneer dairy specialist based in Wisconsin. "They've also been susceptible to Northern Corn Leaf Blight. In some cases, growers have been forced to make fungicide applications to attempt to control the disease in traditional BMR hybrids."

Pioneer has developed BMR hybrids with solid resistance to Northern Corn Leaf Blight and other diseases. In addition, these new BMR hybrids offer improved agronomics and greatly improved forage and starch yield potential.

"In trials across Wisconsin, our BMR hybrids produce better yields and starch content than competitor BMR products while offering the same improvements in digestibility," Powel-Smith reports. "The only exception was P1180XR, which offered better digestibility than competing hybrids." 

Wisconsin's 2014 growing season provided challenges. Many fields were extremely wet. Pioneer hybrids withstood the challenge, especially in the 102-, 107- and 111- maturities. 

When it came to leaf blights, competing hybrids suffered significantly, while Pioneer brand BMR hybrids showed little impact in side-by-side trials - even without the use of fungicides.

Pioneer brand BMR hybrids also offer some flexibility. For instance, P1180XR shows great ability to lay down starch if not harvested for corn silage, Powel-Smith says.

"If we have to make snaplage or cut it as high moisture corn, this BMR hybrid can put together a great ear of corn," he notes. "The same is true to some degree of our other BMR products. They offer a little wider window for growers to harvest the nutritional value from their fields."

If a grower is looking for the digestibility benefits of a BMR hybrid but also wants strong yields and agronomic traits, Pioneer BMR products can provide the best of both worlds.

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