Growing Knowledge

Read the latest insights from our experts as they cover agronomy issues that matter most to you and your operation.

Success in 2019 Starts with the Right Cotton Varieties

Robert Cossar
Technical Seed Manager and Cotton Product Manager
With any luck, you have navigated cotton harvest through a soggy fall and are looking ahead to 2019 planting decisions. Yield and quality are always top considerations when selecting cotton varieties, but there are additional factors you and your agronomist will want to keep in mind as you finalize your choices.
 
Insect control
This year wasn’t just wet, it was also buggy. Many growers in the Mid-South saw high numbers of bollworm escapes, and there is growing concern that tolerance and resistance to current traits may be happening. This makes selecting the right traits even more important. Fortunately, many of today’s cotton varieties assist with delivering insect control.
 
For example, Genuity® Bollgard II® cotton uses advanced technology to help provide protection from lepidopterous pests, including cotton bollworm. Bollgard® 3 cotton adds another protein — Vip3A — to the Cry1AC and Cry2AB Bt proteins found in Genuity® Bollgard II® cotton varieties, helping to produce a triple mode of action scenario. Widely available for planting in 2019, this broader spectrum of worm control could translate into fewer sprays and less potential damage to your cotton all season long. 
 
Weed control
Developing and implementing a good weed management program is crucial to helping your crop achieve its yield and quality potential. Both Bollgard® 3 and Genuity® Bollgard II® cotton offer varieties with XtendFlex® Technology, which is the first cotton technology that provides tolerance to glyphosate, glufosinate and dicamba. In addition to choosing the right traits for weed management, be sure to scout when plants begin putting on squares, as well as bolls, to stay ahead of any resource competition.
 
Geography
Because we handpick seed from the industry's top genetics, we can offer a broad selection of varieties specially adapted to local conditions. Selecting the right cotton variety for your specific geography is important to help ensure optimal performance. 
 
For example, the CROPLAN® brand brings multiple transgenic cotton varieties to the market:
  • 9178B3XF is an early-maturity variety best adapted for the northern Mid-South and upper Southeast regions.
  • 3527B2XF is an early-mid type that is best positioned on highly managed acres.
  • 3226B2XF is a great option for the Texas Panhandle market.
  • 3885B2XF is a mid-maturity variety that has great adaptability across the Cotton Belt and excellent performance in the southeast, lower Mid-South and Texas.
  • 9608B3XF is a medium-maturity variety that has a broad fit from southern Texas across the Cotton Belt, the Mid-South and the East Coast. It is adaptable across soil types and yield levels.
  • 9598B3XF is a medium-maturity variety best suited for the High Plains of west Texas.
 
Your agronomist can help you choose the genetics that help deliver the quality and yield potential that meet the demands of your specific region.


WinField United continues to test new cotton varieties each season to ensure we can offer the best genetics in yield and fiber quality. On-farm, university and independent trials measure how these varieties perform on different soil types and under various management practices. Work with your local WinField United representative to determine which cotton varieties you should consider for the 2019 growing season. You can also find more about CROPLAN cotton varieties here.
 
© 2018 WinField United. Important: Before use always read and follow label instructions. Crop performance descriptions are based on internal trials conducted by WinField United and/or sourced from the genetic supplier. In any event, performance is dependent on soil, pest pressures, weather conditions, and other factors beyond the control of WinField United. Growers are encouraged to consider data from multiple locations, over multiple years, and be mindful of how such conditions could impact grower’s fields. CROPLAN® is a trademark of WinField United. Bollgard®, Bollgard II®, Genuity®, and XtendFlex® are trademarks used under license from Monsanto Technology, LLC.

The Skinny on Pump Shear and Dicamba Drift

Dan Bissell
Senior Research Engineer, Product Development
Last season brought headlines of farmers who faced challenges when they applied a new dicamba herbicide to their field — as well as to some who did not. More often than not, inadvertent dicamba drift was publicized to be the main culprit for damaged crops and bad feelings between neighbors.
 
At WinField United, we heard the stories. And we have a solution to help limit dicamba drift, giving you greater peace of mind.
 
If you have planted dicamba-tolerant soybeans or cotton this year, using a superior drift reduction adjuvant (DRA) is key to keeping your dicamba applications on target. However, not all DRAs are created equal. Some can break down in the spray tank due to shear in the pump. This renders them largely ineffective.
 
Finding answers
As part of our rigorous WinField® United Product Development Process, we evaluated several DRAs with new dicamba herbicide tank mixes using the WinField® United Spray Analysis System. In our lab-scale testing, some DRAs lost their ability to reduce driftable droplets due to the high shear environment of the pump simulation.1
 
But our testing also revealed a promising opportunity.
 
We found that OnTarget™ adjuvant was more resistant to shear breakdown, maintaining its drift-reduction technology, even after 50 passes through a sprayer pump simulation.
 
ShearGraphic2-copy-web.png 
The pump shear problem
All DRAs start out by decreasing drift when mixed with dicamba. But some may not sustain that performance over time because they are subjected to shear forces in the pump, which occurs when some liquid moves faster than neighboring elements. The theory is that shear force causes the polymers in some DRAs to break apart, diminishing drift control.
 
OnTarget is formulated to be compatible with extra- and ultra-coarse nozzles and dicamba-based tank mixes, and its anti-foam formulation makes application convenient.
 
Adding OnTarget to the tank can give you more confidence about your spray outcomes. Make sure you’re getting the most out of your herbicide investment by reducing drift, enhancing droplet spreading and improving canopy penetration. Talk with your trusted local advisor about how OnTarget can work for your dicamba-tolerant crops this year.
 
 
1. Bissell, D. C., Brown, D., Magidow, L. C., and Gednalske, J. V., “An Assessment of Polymeric Drift Reduction Adjuvant Performance After Prolonged Exposure to Pump Induced Shear,” Pesticide Formulation and Delivery Systems: 38th Volume, Innovative Application, Formulation, and Adjuvant Technologies, ASTM STP1610, B. K. Fritz and T. R. Butts, eds., ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA; 2018.
 
Because of factors outside of WinField United's control, such as weather, applicator factors, etc., results to be obtained, including but not limited to yields, financial performance, or profits, cannot be predicted or guaranteed by WinField United. Actual results may vary.

DRAs Really Do Matter

Dennis Christie
Agronomist
Once you’ve decided to plant dicamba-tolerant soybeans, be sure you’re ready to take the steps needed to ensure a solid return on your investment through more effective weed control. Using application techniques appropriate to new dicamba herbicide tank mixes will help protect yield potential while preserving the value of the technology for future seasons.
 
Follow the rules
Job one is to follow all label guidelines for tank-mixing herbicides before applying the mix to Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans or cotton with XtendFlex® technology. That means following directions for application timing and procedures, using approved nozzles and, in almost every case, adding a drift reduction agent (DRA) to the tank mix.
 
You’ll find lists of approved DRAs for each product on company websites. Specific requirements vary by state and can change over time, so double-check guidelines within a week of applying a low-volatility dicamba herbicide.
 
DRA 101
In general, DRAs help reduce off-target applications by making spray droplets larger. Larger droplets are better able to penetrate the canopy to reach surfaces of target weeds, which results in more effective control.
 
Larger droplets also means fewer droplets, so follow guidelines for spray volume to ensure good coverage. Most dicamba tank mixes should be applied at 15 gallons per acre, but be sure to check the label and consult your agronomist with any questions before making an application.
 
Aren’t all DRAs the same?
Even among approved DRAs, you will find performance differences. While all DRAs start out doing the job of increasing spray droplet size, some DRAs may not maintain that performance over time as they are subjected to recirculation within the spray tank.
 
Here’s why: Shear forces imposed on a spray solution moving through a spray system can cause DRAs to act differently. Some DRAs are more susceptible to shear forces, which reduces their ability to suppress fine droplets during application.
 
In testing multiple DRAs with new dicamba herbicide tank mixes using the WinField® United Spray Analysis System, we found some DRAs lost their ability to reduce the percent of driftable fines. However, OnTarget™ adjuvant continued to work after many revolutions through the spray pump.
 
We know OnTarget™ adjuvant will give you the best potential for return on your DRA investment based on comprehensive testing with the WinField® United Spray Analysis System, validated by in-field testing. The graph below shows reduced small particles in dicamba applications when OnTarget™ adjuvant was added to the tank mix.

 We have seen additional good results in field trials when OnTarget™ adjuvant and InterLock® adjuvant are used together in dicamba tank mixes. Adding InterLock® adjuvant at a rate of 1 to 2 ounces per acre will help improve consistency of spray droplet size for better coverage and performance.
 
Take time to plan your herbicide tank-mix strategy before application season heats up. Adding a DRA to a dicamba mix is the best way to get better return on your input investments and ensure good results from this needed weed-control technology for years to come.

XtendiMax® herbicide with VaporGrip® Technology is a restricted use pesticide. XtendiMax® herbicide with VaporGrip® Technology is not registered in all states and may be subject to use restrictions in some states. The distribution, sale, or use of an unregistered pesticide is a violation of federal and/or state law and is strictly prohibited. Check with your local Monsanto dealer or representative for the product registration status in your state.
 
ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW DIRECTIONS FOR USE ON PESTICIDE LABELING. IT IS A VIOLATION OF FEDERAL AND STATE LAW to use any pesticide product other than in accordance with its labeling. NOT ALL formulations of dicamba or glyphosate are approved for in-crop use with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans, Bollgard II® XtendFlex® or XtendFlex® cotton. ONLY USE FORMULATIONS THAT ARE SPECIFICALLY LABELED FOR SUCH USES AND APPROVED FOR SUCH USE IN THE STATE OF APPLICATION. XTENDIMAX® HERBICIDE WITH VAPORGRIP® TECHNOLOGY AND IN CROP USES MAY NOT BE APPROVED IN ALL STATES. Contact the U.S. EPA and your state pesticide regulatory agency with any questions about the approval status of dicamba herbicide products for in-crop use with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans, Bollgard II® XtendFlex® or XtendFlex® cotton.
 
Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans contains genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate and dicamba. Bollgard II® XtendFlex® cotton contains genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate, dicamba and glufosinate. Glyphosate will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate. Dicamba will kill crops that are not tolerant to dicamba.
 
Glufosinate will kill crops that are not tolerant to glufosinate. Contact your Monsanto dealer or refer to Monsanto’s Technology Use Guide for recommended weed control programs.
 
Individual results may vary, and performance may vary from location to location and from year to year. This result may not be an indicator of results you may obtain as local growing, soil and weather conditions may vary. Growers should evaluate data from multiple locations and years whenever possible.
 
ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Bollgard II®, Genuity®, Monsanto and Vine Design®, Roundup Ready 2 Yield®, Roundup Ready 2 Xtend®, XtendFlex®, XtendiMax® and Vaporgrip® are trademarks of Monsanto Technology, LLC

3 Ways to Gin Up Your Cotton Management

Robert Cossar
Technical Seed Manager and Cotton Product Manager
As a cotton farmer, some of your biggest purchasing decisions for the upcoming season have probably been made. You’ve selected the genetics that will best meet your yield goals and the fiber quality that best suits your market. Chances are you’ve also selected the proper traits to tackle your biggest weed and insect challenges.
 
In the CROPLAN® brand, for example, you may have chosen seed with the Bollgard II® XtendFlex® cotton trait, which can be used with glyphosate, glufosinate and dicamba to provide both insect protection and weed control. Or the new Bollgard® 3 XtendFlex® cotton trait, which offers three modes of action against bollworm and other cotton pests.
 
But once you’ve planted your seed, how can you keep your cotton crop on track? Here are some tips to help your cotton be all that it can be in 2018.
 
1. Start seeds off right.
Yield and fiber quality potential are greatly influenced by genetics and the ability of your cotton crop to get off to a quick start. This makes proper seedbed preparation and seed treatments important. Base your planting sequence on soil temperature. If you use conventional tillage, your soil will warm more quickly than with a no-till system.
 
For early-season disease and pest protection, make sure you have the most appropriate seed treatment for what you are dealing with. For example, if you have a nematode problem, Acceleron® Elite is a good choice. If not, consider other seed treatments such as Acceleron® Basic or Acceleron® Standard. All three are found on CROPLAN® cotton seed.
 
2. Know your fertility goals.
Start the season with a representative soil test and address any nutrient deficiencies, especially in boron, potassium, phosphorus and zinc. Nutrient deficiencies will result in smaller bolls and poor fruit retention. Talk with your agronomist about taking tissue samples at key growth stages to ensure nutrient availability throughout the season. Nitrogen is important, but you don’t want to apply too much. A split application usually works best, but if you need to apply all your nitrogen up front, include a stabilizer so it is available later in the season.
 
3. Scout at least every seven days.
Diligent scouting will keep you informed of any weed or insect threats in your fields. Make herbicide applications before weeds get taller than 4 inches. Palmer amaranth continues to be a huge problem in the South (and elsewhere), but dicamba has been shown to help control when used in accordance with all label and EPA-mandated application requirements.
 
Be on the lookout for thrips in the early part of the season, for leafhoppers and bollworms in-season, and for stinkbugs later in the year, applying an insecticide as needed.
 
Work with a trusted advisor to help you make the best choices for your cotton crop and keep on top of management to satisfy the needs of the market you’re selling to. Every time you open a bag of CROPLAN® cotton seed, you have an enormous amount of yield potential. Be sure to protect that yield potential by taking the necessary steps to make your cotton crop a success.

 
© 2018 Winfield Solutions, LLC.  CROPLAN is a registered trademark of Winfield Solutions, LLC. Acceleron, Bollgard, Bollgard II and XtendFlex are registered trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC.

How Healthy Were Crops in 2017?

WinField United
Agronomy Team
Across the country, farmers experienced another dynamic growing season in 2017. From widespread drought to flooding rains, farmers dealt with environmental conditions that required in-season management adjustments to maintain crop health. Tissue sampling proved to be a valuable tool to help guide plant nutrition decisions. Farmers who conducted tissue sampling and analyses in 2016 may have seen different nutrient deficiencies in 2017, requiring them to adjust their fertilization plans in-season.

Nutrient Trends and Insights
Here are some nationwide nutrient trends revealed by tissue analysis conducted by WinField United in 2017.
  • Corn suffered from more nutrient deficiencies in 2017. Compared to 2016, corn plants saw increased deficiencies in key macro- and micronutrients, including nitrogen, potassium, sulfur, zinc, manganese and boron. The most common deficiency was zinc; nearly 82 percent of sampled plants were short on the nutrient that aids in chlorophyll synthesis and other metabolic functions.
  • Soybeans had a sharp increase in copper deficiency. More than 65 percent of soybeans sampled lacked sufficient copper levels to meet plant health needs. This is up 24 percentage points compared to 2016. Copper is a key nutrient for protein synthesis, cell wall formation and many enzyme systems. A majority of soybean samples were also low in potassium and manganese.
  • Wheat lacked micronutrients. Copper deficiency was widespread across wheat crops last year, with nearly 85 percent of sampled plants lacking adequate concentrations of the nutrient. Limited availability of copper in wheat can lead to aborted heads and yield loss. Two other micronutrients, zinc and magnesium, were more deficient this year compared to last year.
  • Cotton showed boron deficiency. Cotton samples were more deficient in boron this year compared to last year, with more than 65 percent of sampled cotton lacking adequate levels of the nutrient. Boron deficiency can lead to flower abortion and boll shedding, limiting cotton yield. Nearly all of the cotton tested was low in potassium, consistent with last year’s test results.
  • Alfalfa was short on calcium. Nearly 90 percent of the more than 300 alfalfa samples analyzed had low levels of calcium in 2017. Calcium aids in nitrogen uptake, nutrient absorption and it contributes to enzyme activity in plants. The majority of alfalfa samples were also short on magnesium and potassium.
  • Corn silage had deficits in manganese, nitrogen and zinc. Deficiencies were found in a greater percentage of samples for all three nutrients in corn silage this year compared to last year. Potassium, boron and sulfur deficiencies were also common in 2017. Corn silage removes more nutrients from soil than grain corn, so crops often require additional fertilization to meet yield goals.
  • Potatoes needed more zinc. Zinc and copper were lacking most in potato crops last year. More than 80 percent of potatoes sampled were deficient in one or both nutrients. Zinc aids in nitrogen metabolism and affects starch content in potatoes. Sample results also revealed a common shortage of phosphorus and manganese in potatoes.
What Does the Data Tell Us?
Plant tissue sampling throughout the growing season can provide real-time insights into a crop’s nutrient status to allow for in-season adjustments to prevent yield loss. Armed with this data, you may be able to remediate nutrition problems before the crop shows signs of stress.
 
While nationwide trends in crop health were analyzed and reported, individual field testing is the best way to evaluate nutrient deficiencies. Plant health is dynamic, and nutrient availability is based on localized conditions and management practices.

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