What is hybrid corn?



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A hybrid is a combination of two or more things.  For example, if you crossed a Poodle with a Labrador you would get a dog that had the traits of both (they are called Labradoodles).  Hybrid corn is produced when one variety of corn is used to pollinate another.  The tassels of one variety are removed so that there is only one type of pollen in the field.  Hybrids are said to have 'hybrid vigor' meaning that they preform better than either of the parents because of the mixing of the genes.  The main advantage to hybrid corn is that it produces greater yields and responds better to fertilizer.  Hybrids can be problematic, however,  because they are uniform genetically. When hybrids are planted over a large acerage a pest (insect or fungus i.e.) can cause great damage because every plant is susceptible to the pest.  Hybrids have also gotten negative press because the hybrid seed is expensive and they require more fertilizer which are both concerns in poorer countries.

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