Product For Every Acre

For decades, corn yields in the U.S. have been on the rise. Since the 1950s, the average corn yield improvement per year has been nearly two bushels/acre. 

This consistent rise wouldn’t be possible without genetic advancements. With better seed genetics, farmers can plant higher-performing hybrids that can better withstand environmental challenges. 

But continually improving yields isn’t as simple as always choosing the newest hybrid on the market.

Choosing the right seed genetics — that align with specific field conditions and management practices — is one of the most critical decisions farmers will make. 

Genetic characterization can help make that decision-making process easier.  

AgriGold’s Field GX™ system, for example, classifies hybrids into different families based on their genetic background and agronomic characteristics. These genetic classifications can help farmers optimize their seed choices to minimize risk across their operations.  

By classifying hybrids into specific groups, growers can better place and manage their hybrids for optimum performance.  

At AgriGold, understanding the relationship between genetics and environment is a constant focus. Our agronomy team touts a robust research program focused on our FieldGX™ classifications. Each year new products are studied across many planting conditions to best understand how their genetics interact with the environment around them.This allows our agronomists to help you place seed where it has the greatest potential on your operation.

This is what makes our genetic research, which happens on a wide variety of plots across the country, so significant.

“Each location is unique, that’s what makes plots so important,” AgriGold agronomist Kevin Gale said. “Management varies: fungicide vs none, planting populations vary, soil types, tillage practices, fertility, planting dates all can have a different effect on each genetic family or hybrid tested.” 

Taking all those factors into account, our team collects data on each genetic family in each location and then analyzes that data from year to year. From this research, we can determine if hybrids from certain families are responding better to certain management practices, chemical applications, weather conditions, or geographic locations. 

Here’s a map of all the AgriGold plots from the 2023 season: 

All of the data from these plots becomes invaluable information for growers who want to align their hybrid choices with their environment — and enjoy better chances at maximizing yields.

For example, one research plot, planted in 2022 and 2023, demonstrates how specific genetic families respond to high- and low-population environments. 

“This trial highlights the ear flex potential by family,” Gale said. “Family A and G have relatively good ear flex at low populations compared to high populations. Family F and Family H flex by kernel depth, but typically respond more to higher populations versus other genetics.”


Enhanced germplasm has been one component of increased yields in recent decades. So understanding how a specific germplasm interacts with a particular environment is critical to ensure the best chance at success in the fields. 

If a farmer’s management style changes from season to season, for example, it’s worth considering a change to the planted hybrids. Sometimes this will mean switching to a completely new genetic family. Ideal timing of nitrogen application, fungicide response, population response and water use efficiency will all vary by genetic family. 

Genetic diversity also helps farmers spread their risk within the field. Putting all eggs into one (genetic) basket could mean a higher chance of yield loss. 

The best rule of thumb is to select hybrids from two to three different genetic families each year. This way, if a specific disease hits one hybrid harder, for example, farmers can still fall back on a different one to make up for performance.


In general, today’s genetics yield better than older hybrids. However, that success isn’t as simple as choosing a new hybrid, and then sticking with it for years to come. It’s important for farmers to understand their acres first —  then match hybrid choices that will best support those acres. Genetic grouping into families, like with our Field GX™ system, helps empower this decision-making.

We know it can be tempting to only want to purchase the hybrid that won your local plot last year. But those high-yielding products typically aren’t ideal for all environments. The chances of a plot winner winning the same plot the following year are slim (~ 11%). 

Data collected from AgriGold plots can also help determine which environments bring out the best in which genetic families, depending on certain characteristics — like ear flex category, as demonstrated in these plots from 2022 and 2023. 

“Hybrids with the ability to flex by kernel size can take advantage of good growing environments and high population, as you can see in this high-yielding plot location,” Gale said of Figure 2.

Diversification and flexibility are key. Management practices often shift because of other factors, like input costs, operational difficulty and weather. The hybrids a farmer plants should evolve with those factors too.

By choosing seeds that align with their management practices and growing environment, farmers can simplify their management and maximize yields.

To make sure your chosen seeds align with your management practices and growing conditions, work with your local AgriGold representative.