May 21, 2024

Beck’s announces Root Reveal research

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Beck’s Hybrids conduct studies to understand corn root architecture.

ATLANTA, Ind. — Beck’s Hybrids announced the development of Root Reveal research — which will offer farmers insight into hybrid selection, product placement and crop management by uncovering how the root architecture and root volume of each hybrid impact performance.

Beck’s initiated two research projects at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2023. They set out to quantify data on root mass, size and architecture.

They wanted to better understand how hybrid variation in root characteristics is influenced by population and how this variation impacts tolerance to stress and nitrogen uptake.

“We see a shocking amount of rooting variation among commercial hybrids, which seems consistent in ours and Beck’s research,” said Fred Below, professor of crop physiology at the U of I.

“With our continuing research partnership, we hope to learn how to take advantage of this variation to manage yield-determining variables like nitrogen use or response to population and to allow for more management-specific recommendations to farmers.”

In A Nutshell

Beck’s aims to provide farmers with additional data to support whether a hybrid will perform based on root architecture and volume — and how those variables affect hybrid performance in various management practices.

Jim Schwartz, director of research, agronomy and Practical Farm Research for Beck’s, said this research will provide farmers with more knowledge about the seeds they plant.

“Our hope is that this research will help us identify correlations leading to causation in relation to root architecture and size and how it impacts variables like nitrogen utilization, population and stress response,” Schwartz said.

Farmers can learn more during field shows planned for August. Beck’s will continue to share data and insights as they become available and expect to feel confident in making complete recommendations based on hybrid root architecture in 2026.

For more information, visit beckshybrids.com/research/root-reveal-research.

Erica Quinlan

Erica Quinlan

Field Editor