DroughtGard® Hybrids Technology Comparison

Trial Overview

  • Dryland/rainfed environments can be highly variable. Farmers look at the long-term weather forecast, stored soil moisture, and production practices to make the best decision they can on what crop will be the most viable and profitable in the environment.
  • Farmers look for corn products that can adapt to and yield across a wide range of environments.
  • DroughtGard® Hybrids corn products were developed for this type of situation. They combine drought-tolerant germplasm with the industry's only biotech trait for drought tolerance, which improves the ability of the corn plant to handle water stress. 
  • The biotech trait was released in 2012 and has been deployed in various corn products since.

Research Objective

  • To evaluate the performance of DroughtGard® Hybrids corn products compared to AQUAmax® competitive corn products in a dryland environment in south central Nebraska.
Soil Type
Previous Crop
Tillage Type
Planting Date
Harvest Date
Potential Yield
Planting Rate
Gothenburg, NE
Hord silt loam
Winter wheat
No tillage
210 bu/acre
22,000 seeds/acre

Site Notes:

In 2016, winter wheat yields were approximately 90 bu/acre, providing excellent residue cover for water conservation in the trial. Approximately 4 feet of stored soil moisture was available at planting amounting to about 8 inches of plant-available water. Rainfall amounted to: May 2.53 in., June 0.75 in., July 1.52 in., August 3.63 in., and September 2.4 in.The study was a randomized complete block with three replications.Study plots were large strips - plot length was 435 feet long by 10 feet wide.Weeds were controlled uniformly across the study and no fungicides or insecticides were needed to control other pests.

Understanding the Results

Figure 1. Average yields of DroughtGard® Hybrids corn products and competitor products
  • DroughtGard® Hybrids corn products had high yields in an environment that saw early-season moisture stress, with the month of June having 10 days that were 90 ºF or warmer.
  • All DroughtGard® Hybrids products yielded more than the 111RM-COMP AQUAmax® product, and nine of the products yielded more than the 114RM-COMP AQUAmax product.
  • The only DroughtGard® Hybrids product that did not out yield the 114RM-COMP product was a 103RM product that had significantly less time to grow before maturing and endured a longer period of stress between the initiation of flowering and the minimal rains in late July that relieved some moisture stress.
  • The top four DroughtGard® Hybrids products yielded, on average, 21 bu/acre more than the competitor’s products. 

What Does This Mean for Your Farm

  • Farmers can have confidence that DroughtGard® Hybrids corn products can obtain high yields in dryland environments, protecting yield potential from a risk of yield loss from drought stress.
  • Farmers should work closely with their local seed sales team to select a corn product that best fits their yield goals and management operation.