Moving Corn North: Developing the Next Generation of Early Maturing Products

University of Minnesota/Marcelo Carena

This project addresses northern corn productivity and profitability as well as value-added market opportunities by breeding the next generation of short-season corn products. This project is innovative as it focuses on the invention of new products and the generation of new cost/effective methodologies for breeders and farmers. Growing productive shorter season corn solves most of the agronomic problems facing Minnesota corn farmers. Still, the market offers slower-drying hybrids that are not stable to northern Minnesota environmental conditions. This research will be essential to influence the corn industry to invest in central and northern Minnesota, independent from commodity price. This research will look to adapt tropical genes to short-season environments and may have large implications to industry and farmers in the long run. The objective is to advance corn to an earlier maturity at an average rate of 2-3 days per year by development of new germplasm carrying genes not identified in multi-million genome sequence projects.