Growing Knowledge

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

Start Seeding Your 2018 Trait Strategy Now

Carl Scholting
Technical Seed Manager—Western Corn Belt, WinField United
While having the latest corn traits can represent a significant investment, they ultimately offer tremendous benefits. Here is a look at how traits have served farmers in my area of the western Corn Belt this season and how planning your seed purchases for 2018 now can help you forge full speed ahead next spring.
What happened in 2017?
Corn rootworm (CRW) is always an issue in pockets throughout the United States, especially in heavy corn-on-corn acres. CRW technologies such as SmartStax® are designed to provide excellent protection against this pest. Particularly with the large volume of rain we’ve had in several areas of the Corn Belt this year, the fact that traits don’t wash away or become diluted like granular insecticides can be very important.  
Corn earworm has also been an issue this year, and SmartStax® and VT Double PRO® have been designed to protect against it. In the western Corn Belt and in Wisconsin, western bean cutworm is currently an issue. Farmers who chose hybrids with the Agrisure Viptera® trait are not having to spray for that pest, while those who don’t have this trait are spraying for western bean cutworm right now.  
A look into 2018
The rotational aspect of continuous corn is going to necessitate CRW protection. Even rotated fields, if they have a history of corn rootworm, are getting that insect trait protection on next year’s seed. As noted above, western bean cutworm is progressing quickly this year and farmers are noticing that they will want more Agrisure Viptera®-traited seed in 2018.
Another key item is helping corn resist drought stress. Much of the western Corn Belt and parts of Iowa and Illinois are currently facing severe drought. The DroughtGard® products in the CROPLAN® seed portfolio are helping to support yield potential when drought stress occurs. I suspect there will be more discussion and questions asked about DroughtGard® products for next year.
Start planning now
Take note of the pressures you’re seeing in your fields now, while things are fresh in your mind. What worked and what didn’t pan out the way you wanted this year? You can’t plant next year’s seed now, but you can start having discussions with your local CROPLAN® seed representative about enhanced insect protection or drought-tolerant hybrids for next year based on what you’re observing. Don’t wait until January to start seeding your 2018 hybrid selection strategy.
Always follow IRM, grain marketing and all other stewardship practices and pesticide label directions. Roundup Ready® crops contain genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup® brand agricultural herbicides. Roundup® brand agricultural herbicides will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate. B.t. products may not yet be registered in all states. Check with your seed representative for the registration status in your state. RIB Complete and Design®, RIB Complete®, Roundup Ready 2 Technology and Design®, Roundup Ready®, Roundup®, SmartStax and Design®, SmartStax®, VT Double PRO®, are trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC. LibertyLink® and the Water Droplet Design® are registered trademarks of Bayer. Herculex® is a registered trademark of Dow AgroSciences LLC.

Agrisure Viptera is a registered trademark of a Syngenta Group Company.

WinField United is a trademark and CROPLAN and WinField are registered trademarks of Winfield Solutions, LLC.

2017 Answer Plot® Insight #1: Belowground Traits Beat Corn Rootworm

WinField United
Agronomy Team
This is the first in a series of four posts highlighting key insights from 2016 Answer Plot® field data and trials.
The injury caused to corn plants by corn rootworms can be devastating. There are several ways to reduce corn rootworm populations and help minimize the injury caused, including using an in-furrow insecticide, using an insecticide to eliminate adult beetles, or by planting hybrids with belowground traits.
Hybrids with belowground traits provide the most consistent control of corn rootworm because the effectiveness of insecticides is based on weather patterns and on the timing of the emergence of rootworm beetles. Smart hybrid selection can help minimize risk and maximize the potential for success.
Answer Plot® data demonstrates that Genuity® SmartStax® corn hybrids deliver consistent yield advantage compared to hybrids without belowground traits. In 2016 trials, even with an in-furrow application of Capture® LFR® insecticide, Genuity® SmartStax® hybrids outperformed hybrids without belowground traits across all locations and performed even better in locations that were under insect pressure.*
With increasing rootworm populations, think about the risks of not choosing hybrids with corn rootworm traits. In fields at risk for corn rootworm infestations, we recommend you consider planting hybrids with belowground traits to provide consistent protection compared to insecticide applications alone.
In 214 comparisons performed across all Answer Plot® locations, Genuity® SmartStax® corn hybrids showed a 4.9-bushel-per-acre yield advantage over Genuity® VT Double PRO® corn hybrids: 225.9 bu/A vs. 221.0 bu/A.

In 92 comparisons performed at Answer Plot® locations with corn rootworm pressure, Genuity® SmartStax® corn hybrids showed a 5.5-bushel-per-acre yield advantage over Genuity® VT Double PRO® corn hybrids: 237.7 bu/A vs. 232.2 bu/A.

*Because the primary objective is to look at genetic performance, standard agronomic practice is to apply an insecticide to genetic trials to manage the potential variation from belowground pests.
Results may vary. Because of factors outside of Winfield Solutions’ control, such as weather, product application and any other factors, results to be obtained, including but not limited to yields, financial performance or profits, cannot be predicted or guaranteed by Winfield Solutions.

Data-Backed Decisions to Make in 2017: Part 2

Joel and Kyle
Hosts, WinField
On this episode of the Deal With Yield®, hosts Joel and Kyle continue their conversation on how to incorporate last year’s insights into the 2017 season. Learn what proactive and reactive decisions farmers should be making, the importance of starting clean and staying clean, and why data quality is so important to Answer Plot crews.
Season 8: Episode 6 – Data-Backed Decisions to Make in 2017: Part 2

The Deal With Yield is a podcast series covering the issues that matter most in crop production.

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