Bayer recently announced it’s moving ahead on a short-stature corn project which will see test plantings on selected farmer fields in 2023. DTN says short-stature hybrids stand about a third to half the height of standard corn hybrids with an ear that sets about knee-high. The hybrids initially debuted in Mexico, and the company is now advancing the concept through their U.S. pipeline in three separate versions, which are traditional breeding, genetically engineered, and gene-edited. The company is making plans for U.S. farmers to get a look at the product in 2023 as Bayer works with a limited number of farmers. A broad commercial rollout is set for 2024. The idea behind creating the hybrids is plants that ideally use fewer resources and are easier to negotiate when in-crop applications of inputs are necessary. Shrinking the corn plant should improve stability and help it withstand extreme weather like high winds.
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