Growing Knowledge

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

A Winning Option for Spring Wheat

Mark Torno
CROPLAN® Diverse Field Crops Marketing Manager
Reliability and stability are key ingredients for wheat seed, particularly if it is grown on variable soils. And having two varieties in one bag — pairing one that has a particular strength with another that has a completely different but complementary one — can help.
A WinPak® spring wheat variety from CROPLAN® seed offers a unique combination of two varieties that provides an exceptional level of stability throughout the field. WinPak varieties work together to increase yield potential by reducing risk from field variability, weather and soil conditions, and disease complexes. If you’re looking for a wheat seed option that performs well in variable conditions and under environmental pressures, here are some reasons to consider planting a WinPak variety.
There’s the value that comes with achieving the highest yield, and then there’s the value that comes with reliability and consistency. That’s where a WinPak wheat variety proves itself: We combine two products that work together to increase yield potential on tough acres while maintaining yield in higher-producing areas. Data has shown a synergistic effect that comes from having two types of seed in the bag. When one variety may not be at the top of the list in certain aspects, the other variety can compensate.
More genetics
No farmer gets excited about cleaning out the seeder and switching between varieties. Even though a farmer might want more genetics on the farm, it’s a lot of work that takes up valuable time. A WinPak variety provides two genetic backgrounds, and farmers only have to plant once.
If one seed component in a WinPak variety has a stronger standability rating than the other, it tends to bolster the second one. This nets out better than separately growing a variety with a less-desirable standability rating and another with a strong rating.
The power of two
CROPLAN currently offers one spring wheat WinPak variety, CP3888, which is a combination of CP3616 and CP3504. This WinPak variety has a number of features and benefits, including:
  • Excellent yield potential, strong protein
  • Strong disease package, great candidate for fungicide applications at flag leaf and heading
  • High response-to-nitrogen rating for peak protein advantage
For more information on WinPak varieties from CROPLAN seed and new varieties that are in the works, talk with your local trusted advisor.

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.

Manage Field Variability in Soybean Crops

Holly Thrasher
Technical Seed Manager
I can’t think of many fields that are completely uniform in soil type from fence row to fence row, nor can I think of two years where the weather is the same. Variability is a common issue on farms, which can make it tricky to purchase the right soybean seed for a particular soil type.
But there is a solution. It’s the combination of two different soybean varieties that is offered in CROPLAN® branded WinPak® varieties. These unique combinations of both offensive and defensive varieties provide an exceptional level of stability throughout the field by working together to increase yield potential on tough acres while maintaining yield in higher-producing areas.
What we select for
We choose seed that will be complementary in terms of agronomic features, such as region-specific disease tolerance, heat and drought tolerance, standability, and yield potential. This happens after we’ve selected the appropriate maturities. We select maturities carefully so the two varieties have a consistent drydown in the field, which helps eliminate problems at harvest. Our seed pairings are strategic; they are carefully formulated to provide farmers with optimal performance in their specific regions.
Managing variability
Achieving optimal yield potential with variable soils can be difficult, and planting diverse soybean varieties can help balance dissimilar soil types through more appropriate management.  For example, while soybean variety A is projected to do well on your fine and medium-textured soils, you may have other areas of the field with pockets of coarse-textured soil where that variety may not do as well as variety B, which is projected to have a strong performance on those tougher soils. Combining the two varieties improves the overall average yield potential of the field as a whole.
Proven in the field
A premium pairing of soybean seed varieties can provide a consistent boost to yield potential that is otherwise hard to find. In fact, 2016–2017 data from regional Answer Plot® trials show WinPak varieties consistently outperformed their individual component varieties by 2.1 bushels per acre.
Latest traits
We have added a number of WinPak varieties to the CROPLAN seed lineup that contain the newest Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® trait technology. And we maintain and refine combinations that include established seed technologies such as LibertyLink® and Roundup Ready 2 Yield®. We listen to our retailers when they tell us what their farmers are requesting for WinPak offerings and do our best to provide them with new options.
WinPak varieties can help you capitalize on your top-end yield potential in the better areas of the field and offer solid defense in areas where you have greater variability in soil type. They can also help balance the variability inherent in other factors that affect overall yield potential, such as weather challenges. Talk with your local trusted advisor today about how WinPak varieties can help you get a jump on your soybean strategy for the 2019 season.
© 2018 WinField United. Answer Plot®, CROPLAN®, WinField® and WinPak® are trademarks of WinField United.
LibertyLink® is a trademark of Bayer CropScience.
Roundup Ready 2 Yield® and Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® are trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC.

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