Growing Knowledge

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

Enhance Your Variable-Rate Fertility on Wheat

Chris Heidrich
Are you looking to boost the yield and ROI potential of your wheat crop? If so, more intense, targeted nutrient management in areas where it will be most effective could help you push your crop to the next level of bushels per acre and protein content. Here are some tips to help you optimize fertility in your fields.
 
1. Start with a soil sample.
Zone soil sampling can give you valuable information about nutrient variability in your wheat fields and, depending on your region, can be more cost-effective than grid sampling. Talk with your local trusted advisor about getting soil samples now prior to freeze-up and snow cover.
 
2. Choose the right varieties.
Ask your advisor how the Characterization Charts (CHT Tool) function of the R7® Tool can help you choose the wheat varieties that will best meet your production goals. High management on varieties with high response-to-population, response-to-nitrogen and response-to-fungicide scores can help you boost both yield and quality potential at harvest. If you do choose a high-management variety, work with your agronomist to time input applications appropriately.
 
3. Manage by zones.
Establishing yield goals by zones is critical to help determine how much fertility you need to apply in each area. Work with your advisor next season to use satellite imagery, prior year crop removal and past yield results to set yield goals for each management zone on your operation with the R7 Tool.
 
4. Pay attention to nitrogen and sulfur.
These macronutrients play important roles in wheat development and in quality and protein content at the end of the season. If your nitrogen-to-sulfur ratios are optimal late in the season, you have a better chance of achieving the protein and quality levels you desire. A number of farmers use variable-rate split nitrogen, which is an application of nitrogen at the beginning of the season, with another at flag leaf or post-flowering for a protein boost.
 
5. Look at the data.
In 2015, 2016 and 2017, my colleagues and I performed side-by-side variable-rate and static-rate checks on farms in western North Dakota and eastern Montana where variable-rate fertility applications were being performed on wheat for the first time. These were not scientific trials and there was no attempt to replicate the trials. The objective was to give farmers some perspective on how variable-rate fertility applications could potentially impact yield in their fields.
 
As we compiled yield data from the trials, we found crops that received variable-rate treatments outyielded the static strip by an average of nearly 4 bushels per acre.*
 
Selecting the right varieties, getting population right, doing variable-rate nutrient applications, and using technology to detect disease and weed pressures can help you give your wheat crop the level of management it deserves. And help you reach the goals you want to achieve. 
 
 
* Source: 2015–2017 customer field trials (52 locations in Montana and North Dakota). 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.
 
© 2018 WinField United. R7® and WinField® are trademarks of WinField United.
 

New Zinc Treatment Available for 2019 Corn Seed

Corey Evans
Technical Seed Manager
The micronutrient zinc is important to corn plants for a number of reasons. Zinc acts as a catalyst for enzyme creation and is a precursor for auxin hormones that signal seed germination. When early zinc levels are adequate, there is more consistent seed germination and plant emergence.
 
All CROPLAN® corn seed has come treated with Advanced Coating® Zn zinc seed treatment — as well as with a fungicide and an insecticide — for a number of years. Answer Plot® testing has helped us develop a new and improved zinc seed treatment, Fortivent™ Zn, which will be available on all new CROPLAN elite class corn hybrids in time for the 2019 growing season.
 
What the data shows
WinField United has been testing Fortivent Zn seed treatment in Answer Plot trials for the past two years. Results from 2017 and 2018 trials indicate a positive effect on yield. Corn planted with Fortivent Zn seed treatment saw a 4.8-bushel-per-acre increase across 41 trial locations. There’s a positive response from Fortivent Zn seed treatment and the Advanced Coating Zn formulation meaning putting zinc on seed could lead to a potential yield boost.
 
Zinc makes us unique
Fortivent Zn seed treatment is designed to provide an early zinc supply to promote seed germination as well as early-season plant health and vigor. The fungicide and insecticide remain. And though fungicide and insecticide often come standard on other hybrid brands, CROPLAN is the only seed manufacturer that adds zinc to our standard treatment. And at no additional cost to you.
 
Supply zinc throughout the season
Zinc is challenging to get to corn plants because it is immobile in soil and in plant tissue. As a result, plant roots have to come into contact with zinc to take it up, making robust early root growth critical. Corn plants need zinc throughout the season to meet growth and development needs. So in addition to a seed treatment, you can boost early-season zinc levels with a starter fertilizer. As the season progresses, tissue samples can help identify when foliar applications may be beneficial.  
 
Talk with your local trusted advisor about the new Fortivent Zn seed treatment and how it can help you turn early-season vigor into end-of-year yield potential.
 
 
© 2018 WinField United. Advanced Coating, Answer Plot, CROPLAN, Fortivent and WinField are trademarks of WinField United.

Nurture Your Seed to Reach Its Potential

Jim Hedges
Sr. Director of Strategy and Insights, Ag Technology for WinField United; corn and soybean farmer
Every bag of seed has tremendous yield potential. Having a trusted advisor who understands how to place the best genetics on the right soils is critical, but perhaps even more important is what happens between planting and harvest.  

Robust testing
CROPLAN® seed by WinField United undergoes a rigorous testing process to ensure the highest probability that it reaches its potential based on the soil type in which it’s planted and the geography in which it grows, and with the level of management best suited to enhancing its success. Data obtained through comprehensive testing in the Answer Plot® program and in Insight trials as well as at the WinField United Innovation Center, help us determine the right management practices needed for our seeds to excel. This data, available through our field staff and retailer network, differentiates WinField United in the marketplace. It truly enables us to make great genetics even better.
 
WinField United has the ability to test hybrids and varieties before they are released commercially to understand how they perform, where to place them and how to manage them.  
 
We take the time to explore the genetic potential of germplasm from major genetic and trait suppliers across the multiple crops we sell, and develop the right data and insights to optimize yield. For example, Answer Plot data shows tremendous yield potential when corn hybrids are managed based on agronomic response-to scores. All of these things result in optimized yield for the farmer.
 
Appropriate management
One of the key differentiators of CROPLAN seed is response-to scores. Helping farmers use these key insights is a must to achieve yield optimization. For example, understanding how a hybrid responds to nitrogen helps you manage that hybrid properly throughout the year. Same with response to population, response to cropping systems and response to fungicide.
 
Even absent heavy disease pressure, a large number of our CROPLAN hybrids and the partnered hybrids we represent have positive ROI with a fungicide application from a plant health perspective. These are all advantages that give WinField United and our owner retailers the ability to help you manage seeds to get more of the potential out of them versus companies that don’t have those insights.
 
Experienced counsel
Many plant breeders say there can be more than 700 bushels of yield potential per acre in a corn hybrid. A number of farmers have harvested more than 500 bushels per acre in yield competitions. So the limiting factor in yield isn’t a seed’s germplasm; it’s how that germplasm is managed. It’s understanding how to harness more of the ROI and yield potential in each seed by using the right inputs.
 
Look to your trusted advisor to help you hone your in-season management. He or she has the agronomic expertise that can complement your own extensive knowledge of your fields, and the latest technology such as the R7® Field Monitoring Tool and the R7 Field Forecasting Tool, that can help make in-season management easier and more precise. Tools that will enable your seed to not only start strong, but finish strong.
 
 
© 2018 WinField United. Answer Plot®, CROPLAN®, R7® and WinField® are trademarks of WinField United.

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.

Manage for More Yield on Non-Rotational Acres

Jonathan Zuk
Regional Agronomist
The advantages of crop rotation have been well documented over the years. But market conditions and on-farm needs are pushing more farmers to skip rotations and opt for continuously cropped acres instead. If you’re one of those farmers, here are some considerations to maximize productivity on non-rotated acres.
 
Continuous corn acres
Research has shown that continuous corn yield penalties were more severe in areas with low moisture and low yields.1 With that in mind, it makes sense to choose high production acres for corn-on-corn rotations, if possible. Here are some other tips to maximize yield potential.

 
  • Choose stable hybrids. Strive to find balance with a high-yielding hybrid that also carries defensive traits like strong disease and insect resistance. Trait packages that protect against above- and below-ground pests, including corn rootworm, are also a good investment for corn-on-corn acres.
  • Evaluate seed treatments. The right treatment helps protect against early-season fungal diseases and insects that might be more prevalent due to the extra plant residue and added moisture in continuous cornfields.
  • Apply foliar fungicides and insecticides. As insect and pathogen populations accumulate in soil and crop residue, the potential for damage and yield loss increases.
  • Manage residue. Extra corn residue can result in additional challenges at planting, including wetter, cooler soils. Excess residue can also have implications for nitrogen cycling.
 
Continuous soybean acres
Pests seem to be one of the biggest yield-limiting factors for soybean-on-soybean acres. Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is historically one of the main concerns, although many farmers aren’t testing for the pest in their fields. Here are some management practices to reduce the yield penalty associated with continuous soybean cropping.
 
  • Alternate genetics. Choosing diverse seed varieties each year helps ensure common weed, insect and disease pests don’t become resistant to management strategies. WinPak® soybeans from CROPLAN® seed include a unique combination of two varieties that work together and confer different levels of protection against common diseases to help mitigate risk.
  • Treat seed. Selecting soybean varieties with the right seed treatments can provide up to 40 days of protection against early-season diseases including rhizoctonia, Pythium and sudden death syndrome.
  • Watch nutrient levels. Multiple years of soybean production can remove nutrients including phosphorus and potassium from the soil.
  • Apply foliar fungicide and insecticide. Applications at the R2/R3 growth stage can provide extra protection against late-season pests.
Strategic production practices can help you get more from non-rotational acres. Consult with your local WinField United retailer to develop a comprehensive management plan that includes the proper seed choices, crop protection products and fertilization needs for your acres.
 
1. Seifert, C. A., M. J. Roberts, and D. B. Lobell. 2017. Continuous Corn and Soybean Yield Penalties across Hundreds of Thousands of Fields. Agron. J. 109:541-548. doi:10.2134/agronj2016.03.0134
 
© 2018 WinField United. CROPLAN®, WinField® and WinPak® are trademarks of WinField United.
 

Displaying results 1-5 (of 13)
 |<  < 1 - 2 - 3  >  >| 

Subscribe to the Advisor Newsletter

Sign up for monthly agronomic insights and product information.