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Continuous Corn Management Guide

To meet the increased global demand for corn, growers are utilizing more continuous corn acres. The decision to grow more continuous corn must be accompanied by an expectation to implement specific management practices to help offset some of the yield loss experienced with continuous corn. Syngenta Agronomy Research has conducted multiple studies to help producers understand the value of many of these practices. Effect of Crop Rotation on Corn Yield
200 195 190 Average of 30 Site Years, 2005-2010
LSD (0.05) = 6.4


Yield (Bu/A)

185 180 175 170 165

176 198

Seedling Concerns in Corn Residue

Continuous Corn Rotated Corn Continuous corn often produces less yields than corn-soybean rotations.

Slowed emergence and vigor due to cooler, wetter soils from residue. More favorable environment for soil-borne seedling disease development. Increased potential for secondary pests that can slow seedling development or reduce corn stands.

Graph 1

Management Strategies for Continuous Corn

Select the most productive fields for continuous corn Influence of Yield Environment on Continuous Corn Yield Penalty 30 Site Years, 2005-2010 rotation to lessen yield 30 penalty (Graph 2). Increase nitrogen rates 20 due to reduced nitrogen 10 availability. 0 Protect seeds and seedlings from disease and insects -10 with a premium seed -20 treatment such as Avicta Complete Corn. -30 Reduce future volunteer -40 corn problems with timely 50 100 150 200 250 Yield Environment of Continuous Corn (Bu/A) harvest dates and/or using foliar Graph 2 fungicides such as Quilt Xcel to minimize grain field loss. Anticipate and manage for increased rootworm presence with rootworm protected hybrids containing the Agrisure 3000GT or Agrisure Viptera 3111 trait stacks. Manage for increased probability of foliar diseases by selecting hybrids having good disease tolerance and/or using fungicides such as Quilt Xcel.
Yield Loss From Continuous Corn (%)


2011 Syngenta Seeds, Inc. Minneapolis, MN 55440 Important: Always read and follow label directions before buying and using Syngenta products. The instructions contain important conditions of sale, including limitations of warranty and remedy. Avicta, Avicta Duo Corn, Force, Force 3G and Force CS are Restricted Use Pesticides. Avicta Complete Corn is one or more separately registered products or combination of products containing the following: Avicta Duo Corn, Cruiser, Apron XL; Maxim XL and Dynasty. Agrisure, Agrisure Viptera, the ALLIANCE FRAME, Apron XL, Avicta, Cruiser, Cruiser Extreme, Dynasty, Force, Maxim, NK, Quilt, Quilt Xcel, RTA and the Syngenta logo are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company. Classification: PUBLIC

C800-11 NK (March 2011)

Hybrid Selection for Continuous Corn

Yield (Bu/A)

1. Most importantly, select locally-adapted hybrids (independent of crop rotation) with desired traits, relative maturity and proven yield. 2. Utilize the Hybrid Suitability Chart below to better manage placement of locally adapted hybrids which: Retain yield in continuous corn, and/or Have favorable agronomic characteristics for continuous corn production. Both yield retention and agronomic characteristics should be considered. Hybrids with good yield retention ratings maintain yield potential better than others in replicated yield trials. Hybrids with favorable agronomic characteristic ratings have multiple agronomic traits such as emergence, vigor, root and stalk strength and disease tolerance that are important for maximizing yield. Manage hybrids with below average agronomic characteristics accordingly with soil applied insecticide, rootworm traits, or foliar fungicides as needed.

260 250 240 230 220 210 200

t l

Average of 4 Site Years, 2008-2009

Yield rating Agronomic rating
l t

Hybrid Yield Examples

LSD (0.05) = NS

Yield vs. Agronomic Rating for Continuous Corn

N72K Continuous

Rotated N68B


Graph 3

Example: N72K has a good agronomic characteristic rating for continuous corn even though it does not consistently retain maximum yields in continuous corn environments. N68B retains yield in continuous corn even though its agronomic characteristics are not as favorable.

NK Brand Hybrid Suitability for Continuous Corn

Hybrid Series N03D N08N N15A N16M N17H N19G N20Y N21J N22C N23F N23K N27B N27W N29A N29T N31M N33R N34N N36K N37D N38B N38W N39M N39Z N40T N45A N46F N47V N48S N49J RM 72 77 80 83 83 85 85 86 88 88 88 90 91 92 92 93 94 96 96 97 97 97 98 99 100 101 101 101 103 103 Yield Agronomic Hybrid Retention* Characteristics** Series N50K H H N51T l l N52A l t N53C l t N53W H l N58L l H N61P l l N60R l l N63R l H N68B l l N68Y l t N69L l t N69Q l t N69Z l l N71G t t N72A l 6 N72K t l N72D l H N72Q H t N73N l l N74C l l N73V l l N74R t H N77P t t N75M t H N77H t H N78W t l N78S t t N82V t l N78B l l RM 103 104 104 105 105 106 107 108 109 111 111 112 112 112 112 112 112 113 113 113 113 114 114 114 115 115 115 116 117 119 Yield Agronomic Retention* Characteristics** t t l l 6 H l H l l l l l t l 6 l H l t l t H 6 H l H l t l l H t l H t H l H l H l l l H l H 6 H H H H l H H t t t l l

Rating Symbol
H l t

Above average performance for continuous corn. Average performance for continuous corn. Hybrid may not perform consistently in continuous corn. Hybrid not recommended for continuous corn.

Hybrid ratings based on interpretation of statistically analyzed results of studies conducted by Syngenta Agronomy Research. *Yield Retention refers to a hybrids ability to maintain yield in continuous corn relative to its yield following soybeans. **Agronomic Characteristics refers to a combination of characteristics that are key for continuous corn production: emergence, vigor, root and stalk strength, staygreen, and foliar disease tolerance.

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This bulletin was developed by Syngenta Agronomy Research. Syngenta Agronomy Research studies and evaluates environmental and cultural practices that impact yield in both corn and soybean production to provide answers to the critical issues facing growers. In 2010, 27 research trials were conducted at 10 Syngenta Agronomy Research locations.