Growing Knowledge

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

It Really Is All About You

Kevin Eye
Vice President, WinField United
For 20 years, we’ve been focused on testing every agronomic concept that might make a difference for a farmer. The Answer Plot® program has looked at the good and the bad, the new and the assumed, the maybe-this-could-work and the crazy-but-possible. The program has grown to include nearly 200 sites across the United States, Canada, Mexico and South Africa that produce an incredible 6 million data points every year. And those millions of data points have led to some really valuable insights that are helping farmers get more from every field, every season.
 
But what all of us at WinField United are most proud of isn’t the big numbers; it’s the individual success stories Answer Plot insights have helped create. Every trial and every observation is managed by a local expert agronomy team driven to help their customers succeed. That’s what makes this program worthwhile and what can give you greater confidence in your agronomic decisions.
 
Putting Answer Plot data to work
You might be using Answer Plot insights without realizing it. If you are using response-to-fungicide scores to choose hybrids and plan in-season management, Answer Plot results helped shape the advice you’re getting from your local agronomy team.
 
When you’re discussing the pros and cons of increasing plant population with your agronomist, it’s a good bet Answer Plot data is adding context to those conversations.
 
When your team is helping you plan nitrogen applications throughout the season to get the most from your genetic investment, you can be sure Answer Plot trials helped fuel those recommendations.
 
If you have found the benefits of leveraging the R7® Tool on your farm, you have definitely been using Answer Plot data and insights.
 
Visit an Answer Plot site to see more
And we’re not done yet. We have our sights set on even more in-depth management insights and more localized data for better individual farm decision-making. Here are a few examples of what’s ahead for the Answer Plot program:
  • We’ll be evaluating seed care technology to give you the best opportunity to start the season with a strong, healthy stand.
  • We’ll be looking beyond general fungicide response to analyze how specific hybrids respond to specific fungicide products in more locations and accounting for more management strategies.
  • We’ll be testing new strategies for controlling herbicide-resistant weeds to help you choose the best solution for your specific challenges.
  • We’ll be tackling soil quality to help you maintain and improve the foundation of your crop production program.
You can be sure we will use everything we’ve learned from the last 20 years to inform the next 20 years and beyond – always focused on helping you make confident decisions for every field, every season.
 
Thanks for helping us recognize 20 years of insights and for inspiring us with your agronomic challenges. Let’s solve them together. I hope to see you at an Answer Plot event this summer!

Answer Plot Program Insights Reveal Yield Opportunities

WinField United
Agronomy Team
The Answer Plot® program was created to give farmers greater confidence in their agronomic decisions. Since 1988, we have been transforming data from test sites across the country into expertise you can use on your farm. Here’s a look at five key insights from the program in 2017 that can help you move your operation forward this year and in the years to come.

1. Don’t leave 90 bushels on the table.
Spending smarter beats spending more. Response-to scores help you manage input decisions with a clear understanding of potential ROI. Through the Answer Plot program, we measure crop response to management strategies, including plant population, nitrogen application, continuous corn and fungicide application. The bottom line: Nearly 90 bushels could be at risk on any acre every year.
 
The data below shows the range of yield response to four key decisions that affect productivity and profitability. The better you can predict the results of your management decisions, the less risk you will carry and the more yield opportunity you will realize.

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2. Plant with confidence.
The best results come from matching every seed to the right management practices. To improve your odds of choosing the right seed for each acre, we collect data on how a vast range of products perform on fields just like yours. Using those results on 240 corn hybrids and 360 soybean varieties at nearly 200 Answer Plot locations, we populate the R7® Tool Top 10 feature, which finds the best 10 products for your fields and the conditions you face, including geography, soil type, maturity and irrigation.

3. Let the fungicide data do the talking.
Effectively managing mid-season input costs can make the difference between profit and loss. But when disease strikes, you have to protect yield. Response-to-fungicide (RTF) scores help you with seed selection and indicate where to scout for conditions that favor disease growth, so you can decide whether you can expect a return on a fungicide application and when to take action.
 
The Answer Plot program gauges RTF scores on 240 corn products every year. In 2017, based on data from 41 locations, average yield response after fungicide application was 11.2 bushels per acre. And the higher the RTF score, the higher the yield response.
 
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4. Keep nitrogen in its place.
Losing valuable nitrogen through air or soil is easy — and that’s not good for yield potential, the environment or your input budget. Nitrogen stabilizers slow the rate of nitrogen conversion so nutrients are ready and waiting for developing plants. The Answer Plot team is actively applying learnings from more than 400 independent research trials, which found treating fields with NutriSphere-N® Nitrogen Fertilizer Manager increased corn yield by an average of 10.0 bushels per acre compared to untreated plots.1,2

5. Seed treatment stops small pests from becoming big problems.
A well-chosen seed treatment can prevent damage from some of the biggest soybean yield threats, namely soybean cyst nematode (SCN) and sudden death syndrome (SDS). Based on testing at 25 Answer Plot locations with moderate to high SCN pressure, combining Warden® CX and ILeVO® seed treatments boosted soybean yield by 2.8 bushels per acre.
 
We hope you’ll join us in celebrating 20 years of insights — and bring your tough questions to an Answer Plot event this summer. See you at the plots!
 
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.
 
1. Koch Industries, 2018
2. Verdesian Life Sciences data on file

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

Tips for Early-Season Spraying

Mark Glady
Regional Agronomist
Are you confident that you’re getting the most out of your spray investments? Here are some tips to help you start off right and stay on track with your nozzle selection and tank-mixing regimen.

1. Understand product labels. Particularly with the regulations surrounding this year’s new dicamba-tolerant soybeans, it’s important to pay attention to nozzle or spray pressure restrictions as well as any setback restrictions from sensitive areas.

2. Minimize drift. Drift potential can be alleviated by using the correct nozzle at the right pressure for spraying certain products. For example, the Turbo TeeJet® flat-fan nozzle generates a smaller droplet. The Turbo TeeJet® Induction (TTI) nozzle for dicamba gives you a larger, heavier droplet that has more velocity to continue down to the target without a high potential to drift or float away in the wind. It’s hard to find one nozzle that can satisfy different demands, so use multiple nozzles to best manage your spray droplet size and control drift.

You can also help minimize drift by adding the correct adjuvant to your tank mix. Adjuvants help reduce the amount of fine particles in the spray, get more crop protection product on the target and help it stay there.

3. Don’t reduce coverage. Although large droplets are less likely to drift, they can also reduce coverage, which can be a negative when your objective is to eliminate certain weeds. Large droplets are not so bad for dicamba herbicides, but they can be challenging for dicamba tank-mix partners or herbicides that specialize in eliminating volunteer corn. These chemistries perform better when coverage is broader.  

4. Keep your sprayer clean. If you use dry flowable herbicides, it takes a lot of agitation to get them completely dissolved and to keep them in suspension or in solution. If they don’t dissolve, they can get hung up in screens, caked up in strainers or caught up in the end caps of spray booms. Be sure to check your sprayer for residue, and clean it out promptly.

5. Be mindful of mixing order. Most label directions call for starting off with at least half a tank of water, then adding dry flowables or water-soluble products, followed by liquid products, then emulsifiable concentrates. We all know that mixing order is important, but sometimes it’s hard to give it the attention it needs in the heat of a busy growing season.

However, adding products slowly and giving them ample time to agitate, dissolve and become well-mixed greatly increases your chances of having a successful tank mix without incompatibility issues. I always like to remind applicators that the solution to pollution is dilution.

Check out The Deal With Yield® farming podcast for more in-season insights like these.
 
The Deal With Yield is a registered trademark of Winfield Solutions, LLC.
TeeJet is a registered trademark of TeeJet Technologies.
 
© 2017 Winfield Solutions, LLC

Tips for Using New Dicamba Products

Ryan Wolf
Agronomy Services Manager
The new dicamba-tolerant crop system is now available to help soybean and cotton farmers control difficult weeds and manage resistance. While this tool offers a much-needed new mode of action, it also requires increased application vigilance by users to avoid damaging sensitive nearby crops. Here are a few key insights to help you get the most out of the new dicamba products. (For more in-depth information, read the full article in Corn & Soybean Digest here.)

1. Follow label instructions exactly.
Currently, two low-volatility herbicide products are labeled for use with dicamba-tolerant crops: XtendiMax® with VaporGrip® Technology from Monsanto and Engenia™ from BASF. Each of these products has unique application requirements listed on its product label. After you’ve selected the herbicide you plan to use with your dicamba-tolerant crop, it’s important to thoroughly read and follow the label requirements for use. Each set of guidelines must be followed exactly for successful use.

2. Manage drift and volatility.
To help minimize potential drift, the two new product labels limit application to certain wind speeds and applicators are cautioned to watch for possible temperature inversions. Because each label differs slightly on wind regulations, it’s important to follow the recommendations exactly as stated on the product being used to avoid damage to sensitive neighboring crops.

3. Include drift-control adjuvants.
Adjuvants are also recommended for effective drift-control management with the dicamba-tolerant system. Lists of adjuvants and tank-mix partners, along with nozzles approved for use with the two new products may be accessed online at the XtendiMax® and Engenia™ websites.

It’s important to note that an approved drift-reduction agent must be in the mixture with the new dicamba herbicide chemistries when certain other herbicides and adjuvants are used. The designated drift-reduction agents, such as AG16098 adjuvant from WinField United, are specifically designed for use with ultra- and extra-coarse nozzles, and with these new chemistries.

Because label changes continue to be made, you are required to review the online label no more than seven days prior to making an application. You can also find out about buffer zone requirements here.

4. Protect against resistance.
Weed resistance to new herbicides can develop quickly if only partial control is achieved with each application. But if you apply the exact rates and follow the application procedures on the product labels, weed-resistance issues should be minimized.

While the dicamba-tolerant crop system is a welcome addition to current weed-control programs, it’s only one part of the long-term solution. To remain effective and provide expected weed control, the new dicamba products should be part of a diversified weed-control strategy that includes multiple modes of action, paired adjuvants and recommended best management practices.
 
VaporGrip and XtendiMax are registered trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC. Engenia is a trademark of BASF.

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