Following statistical analysis of five performance trials in south-western Ontario in the fall of 2018, the Ontario Corn Committee (OCC) determined that some corn hybrids differ significantly in their susceptibility to DON. Spurred by the findings, the committee has voted to conduct voluntary inoculated trials for rating hybrids for susceptibility to DON accumulation at Ridgetown and Ottawa beginning in 2019.
Hybrids entered by the seed companies will be tested at both locations and will be rated based on two types of inoculation: silk channel and wounding (to simulate insect or bird damage), the committee says. Use of inoculated trials ensures that all hybrids are subjected to the same level and types of disease pressure and provides data in years when there is little natural infection.
Results will available for review by the committee by the end of November 2019. Upon acceptance by the committee, the results will be reported publicly with hybrid names included.
Funding of these trials for at least the next two years will be coming from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Grain Farmers of Ontario, the seed companies (through entry fees), and donations from a number of end-users.
It remains a seed company’s decision to participate in these tests and which hybrids to enter.
It is the intent of the OCC that DON testing will be an on-going component of the hybrid testing offered by the OCC so that growers will continue to have an independent source of information to assist them in reducing the risk of DON contamination of their corn crops, the committee says in a news release.
For the 2018 crop, DON accumulation samples were collected across 106 hybrids. This report is in the final stages of preparation and should be available soon on GoCorn.net. While there are relative susceptibility differences to gibberella between hybrids, OCC says it’s important to note that none of the hybrids can be said to be “resistant.” Under conditions favouring giberella, any of them can accumulate significant amounts of DON.