2017 Answer Plot® Insight #4: The Right Seed Yields Results

WinField United
Agronomy Team
This is the final in a series of four posts highlighting key insights from 2016 Answer Plot® field data and trials.
 
Every season brings its share of challenges, old and new. As a result, you want the confidence of knowing that the seeds you plant can meet those challenges. Putting the right seed in the right soil is the first step in achieving genetic yield potential and reducing risk.
 
Using our Answer Plot® testing protocol, WinField United identifies the management strategies needed to reach maximum yield potential for our CROPLAN® seed brand. From soil type and disease risk to crop rotation and response to nutrient applications, extensive replicated testing measures yield based on a variety of inputs and environmental factors.
 
During 2016 Answer Plot® trials, we used applied science to analyze and compare statistical data from CROPLAN® seed against products from our key competitors. The results showed that CROPLAN® corn hybrids and soybean varieties outperformed them.
 
At 135 Answer Plot® locations in 20 states, CROPLAN® corn hybrids outperformed the key competitor with a yield advantage ranging from 8.7 bushels per acre in western states to 10.7 bushels per acre in northern states.  


At 116 Answer Plot® locations in 16 states, CROPLAN® soybean varieties outperformed the key competitor with a yield advantage ranging from 1.5 bushels per acre in western states to 3.3 bushels per acre in northern states.
 

Talk to your local WinField United retailer to discuss best management strategies to maximize yield potential for your seed.  
 
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.

2017 Answer Plot® Insight #3: Split N for Higher Yield Potential

WinField United
Agronomy Team
This is the third in a series four posts highlighting key insights from 2016 Answer Plot® field data and trials.

Managing nitrogen is a key concern as farmers continue to look for ways to increase yield while managing input costs in a tight market. Using split nitrogen applications is an important management strategy that can help increase productivity and profitability potential, while promoting sustainability.
 
An effective split-application program starts with using enough nitrogen to meet requirements for early-season growth, then returning with one or more applications to meet later nitrogen needs. This limits the amount of nitrogen that is susceptible to loss by leaching or denitrification. Delaying nitrogen applications also gives you more time to react to environmental conditions.

Split applications allow you to take several in-season measurements that can help you ascertain the correct nitrogen rate. Using in-season imagery with the R7® Tool, as well as tissue and soil testing with the NutriSolutions 360® system, can help you more accurately determine how much nitrogen to apply and when to apply it, without over-applying.

In 2016, at 15 Answer Plot® locations in 10 states, data showed that side-dress nitrogen applications made at V4 and treatments with a Y-DROP® applicator at V10 led to significant yield advantages in corn over a base rate. By applying nitrogen when crops need it most, plants can prosper while the financial and environmental costs of nitrogen loss can be minimized.
 
RESPONSE TO SPLIT NITROGEN APPLICATION IN CORN (BY MATURITY)

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.

2017 Answer Plot® Insight #2: Expect Results From Fungicides

WinField United
Agronomy Team
This is the second in a series of four posts highlighting key insights from 2016 Answer Plot® field data and trials.

Using data from our Answer Plot® Program, WinField United strives to help farmers make the right decisions throughout the growing season. One area we have focused on recently is response-to-fungicide (RTF) scores and the potential economic benefits of making a late-season fungicide application.

Granted, with current low commodity prices, the expense of a late-season fungicide application can be difficult to justify. And the questions, “Is it worth the cost to spray fungicide?” and “Will I get my money’s worth out of this expenditure?” are legitimate. What is certain is that making the right decision about fungicide applications requires a calculated approach.

RTF scores are key indicators of the potential economic benefit of applying fungicides and allow you to weigh possible yield gain against application costs. Answer Plot® data from 2016 shows a strong fungicide yield response in both corn and soybeans. Across all locations, an 88 percent positive response rate was observed in corn (a 15.3-bushel-per acre yield advantage) and a 92 percent positive response rate was observed in soybeans (a 2.1-bushel-per-acre yield advantage).

We also test each hybrid for its individual response. Some hybrids respond exceptionally well to a fungicide application and are “must spray” hybrids. Others do not respond as well, so applying a fungicide may not pay for itself. We can help you think through the possibilities to ensure you are putting your dollars in the right place and optimizing your investment.

Contact your local retailer for hybrid-specific response scores and for further information on a late-season fungicide application.

At 67 Answer Plot® locations in 12 states, the average corn fungicide response was a 15.3-bushel-per-acre yield advantage.



At 38 Answer Plot® locations in 11 states, the average soybean fungicide response was a 2.1-bushel-per-acre yield advantage.



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.

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.

Want local insights? Visit an Answer Plot® event this season.

Kevin Eye
Vice President, Agronomy & Product Development
We’re gearing up for a busy season at our Answer Plot® locations across the country. Each year we reevaluate the program and design demonstrations that are relevant to local geographies, based on insights from farmers and our regional experts.
 
Whether you’ve never attended an Answer Plot® event or you’re a seasoned attendee, here are some reasons it’s worth your time to attend.
 
Interactive demonstrations. Each event is a little different depending on the time of year and location, but the main goal is education and training. Whether that’s providing product recommendations, demonstrating ag technology tools or delivering agronomic insights, we’re constantly changing our focus to stay relevant to your needs. This year, we’re highlighting several new demonstrations that you can learn about here.
 
Data-driven research. In addition to interactive demonstrations, our Answer Plot® Program includes more than 200 research-trial locations across the country. When you attend a local event, you can expect insights derived from high-quality, local data. We’ll talk about what we’ve learned from our multi-location field trials and what new data we’re gathering to help you make informed decisions next year.
 
Timely information. There are multiple events at each Answer Plot® location throughout the season, so there’s always something new to learn. Early-season demonstrations might include seed treatment and weed-control evaluations. Mid-season, we might talk about soil and tissue sampling, the use of ag technology tools, or crop fertility. As the season winds down, we’ll focus on late-season plant health topics and preparing for harvest.
 
Customized sessions. Answer Plot® events are designed to be fluid and interactive. We encourage you to bring questions about challenges you’re facing to help drive conversations. And, if you find that you can’t make one of the scheduled events, it’s possible to schedule one-on-one time with a local agronomist at the Answer Plot® location when it works for you. Our goal is to provide local data, insights and information to make your operation more productive and efficient.
 
To learn more about events scheduled in your area, visit answerplot.com or talk with your local retailer.

Add Greater Value to On-Farm Trial

Steve Anthofer
Answer Plot Operations Sr. Manager
Testing new products and management techniques on your own fields is a good way to get a close-up look at results under your own growing conditions. However, because most on-farm trials are limited in scale, the results provide only a glimpse into performance.
 
To rely on such small-scale data for planning purposes can stymie your chances for success, since the decisions you make are only as good as the data you’re analyzing. And if your data is “iffy,” any resulting actions you might take will be equally suspect.

That’s why it’s beneficial to compare your on-farm data with high-quality, large-scale test results that reflect a variety of soil conditions and weather scenarios, results that paint a more complete performance picture. In 2015, our WinField® United Answer Plot® Program tested 231 corn hybrids, replicated 12 times at 191 locations across the country. We also collected a total of 5 million data points from our trials. This level of local, regional and national testing allows us to ensure the validity of our data, so you can feel confident using it for comparison purposes with your on-farm results.
 
Tips for On-farm Trials
Before doing any data comparisons, make sure your on-farm trials deliver the best results possible. Master Agronomy Advisor Matt Mesenbrink has worked with a number of farmers performing their own trials and offers the following recommendations:
 
  • Keep things simple. Test one thing at a time: one hybrid versus another hybrid; high management versus low management. Limit the trial to the most important information you seek.
  • Understand variabilities. Remember that weather and fertility will affect your outcomes. Because of factors you can’t control, the size of your trial might diminish and, as a result, it may not be a true test of what you’re farming.
  • Work with your agronomist. If trial results differ from what you expected, ask your agronomist to help determine why. Understand that you may need to adapt if conditions change.
  • Engage your other stakeholders. Review your plans with the managers and applicators you work with to help ensure everyone understands what you want to accomplish and what their roles are in helping make that happen.
 
By following these simple steps, you can feel assured in your results and you’ll be on your way to making solid, data-based decisions for the coming year.

WinField United Staffer Is New NCWSS President

Eric Spandl
Technical Marketing Manager
Greg Dahl, a research manager for product development at WinField United, was named president of the North Central Weed Science Society (NCWSS) on December 15 at the organization’s annual meeting in Des Moines. Iowa. He will serve in this role until December 2017.
 
Greg Dahl, NCWSS PresidentThis is a great honor for Greg, a 30-year industry veteran who has been with WinField United since 1997. He has been an active member of the NCWSS since 1981 and was given the organization’s Distinguished Achievement Industry Award in 2011. WinField United is proud of Greg’s many accomplishments in the field of weed management research. He sees a number of important issues ahead for the organization to deal with in 2017 and beyond.
 
“We have resistant weeds. We also have the new dicamba technologies hitting the market, which will create opportunities to do great things,” said Greg in a news release announcing his appointment. “But we will need to practice stewardship like we never have before — doing our very best to keep chemicals in the right place and ensuring they stay where farmers put them.”
 
Greg has coordinated and conducted numerous experiments in the areas of adjuvants, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, seed treatments and micronutrients with WinField United. His research has led to the introduction of more than 50 new or improved products.

Many NCWSS members are affiliated with universities or the crop protection industry. Others are crop consultants, state or federal agency or private research personnel, extension educators, graduate students in weed science, or other weed science experts. The NCWSS covers 15 U.S. states and the Canadian province of Ontario.

Greg has an impressive track record in the industry, and we are very proud that he has been named president of the NCWSS. His professional background, and his broad and deep knowledge of agronomy and weed science, make him a valued colleague. I know the NCWSS will benefit from his vast experience.

A Late-November Planning Checklist

Jonathan Zuk
Regional Agronomist
As you wrap up harvest and think about what inputs to purchase for 2017, consider the following points to see if you are on track to make the best decisions for your operation.
 
1. Use 2016 Answer Plot® data to help guide the process. This will help you determine when to put your foot on the brake and be cautious, and when to hit the gas and try something new. For example, WinField United has reviewed response to nitrogen (RTN), response to population (RTP), response to fungicide (RTF), response to soil type (RTST) and response to rotation (RTCC) by hybrid for the past several years through its Answer Plot® Program. For example, the RTN information tells us that getting nitrogen right is potentially worth about 55 additional bushels per acre, and that this response changes by hybrid and by year. So, if you get it wrong, you could really get it wrong. But getting it right could mean making a profit when you might not have.
 
Making sure you are using quality data to aid your decision making is going to be the key goal for 2017, particularly with down markets.
 
2. If you can measure something, you can manage it. Reflect on the 2016 growing season, and what it meant for your fields and your wallet. Low commodity prices certainly played a big role; however, that doesn’t necessarily mean next season is the time to cut all your inputs. Rather, it may be a time to consider, “How can I manage this situation better than I have in the past?” In the end, you’re likely to add ag technology to help you make more targeted inputs rather than eliminate them. Use the R7® Tool along with data and other information to help you make those determinations accurately and more confidently.
 
3. Leverage end-of-year knowledge. December is approaching, which means you might be completing paperwork for loans and land rents and starting to get some hard budget numbers. This will put you in a position to make more-informed decisions for 2017. As you plan, think through possible increases in expenditures that could potentially double your money or help you gain insight into the next yield bubble.
 
So know when to brake and when to go. And don’t do it without quality data and the counsel of your local agronomist. 

Final Approvals for New Soybean Technologies

Mike Anderson
Marketing Manager, CROPLAN® corn and soybeans
Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provided the final stamp of approval needed for use of XtendiMax™ herbicide with VaporGrip™ Technology in crop with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans and Bollgard II® XtendFlex® cotton. This approval means that you can now take full advantage of the next-generation soybean technology system.
 
What has been approved:
  • XtendiMax™ herbicide with VaporGrip™ Technology* has received EPA approval for use in conjunction with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans. The system will include Roundup Ready Xtend® soybeans, the industry’s first biotech product with tolerance to dicamba and glyphosate herbicides. 41 soybean varieties are available through WinField United’s CROPLAN® brand, ranging in maturity from 0.0 to 6.9.
Double Check Labels
Some of the tank-mix products you’re accustomed to using may no longer comply with this cropping system, so double check the label. We want to ensure you are armed with all the necessary information, insights and recommendations so applications are on-label, responsible and effective.

We will share additional information on the chemistries and adjuvants related to Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans and other newly-available cropping systems as our research progresses.

Contact your local retailer to learn more about what this technology could mean for your operation.

* Pending state approvals of XtendiMax™ with VaporGrip™ Technology.
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.  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.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not an offer to sell Roundup Xtend™ with VaporGrip™ Technology. This product is not yet registered or approved for sale or use anywhere in the United States.
Commercialization is dependent on multiple factors, including successful conclusion of the regulatory process. The information presented herein is provided for educational purposes only, and is not and shall not be construed as an offer to sell, or a recommendation to use, any unregistered pesticide for any purpose whatsoever. It is a violation of federal law to promote or offer to sell an unregistered pesticide.
Bollgard II®, Genuity®, Monsanto and Vine Design®, Roundup Ready 2 Yield®, Roundup Ready 2 Xtend®, Roundup Xtend™, XtendFlex®, XtendiMax™ and VaporGrip™ are trademarks of Monsanto Technology, LLC. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ©2016 Monsanto Company 

EU Approves Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® Soybeans for Import

Mike Anderson
Marketing Manager, CROPLAN® corn and soybeans
The recent import approval for Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans by the EU marks an important milestone toward a full system launch of the next-generation soybean technology. This exciting news follows Monsanto’s February announcement of Chinese import approval, lending even greater commercial potential for U.S. growers.
 
What this means for you:
With the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the final stages of review for over-the-top use, farmers can now move ahead with including Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybean products in their plans for 2017 planting. Once the EPA approves over-the-top use, this trait technology will provide more weed management options as well as the latest generation of soybeans genetics.  The industry's first soybean stacked herbicide trait with both dicamba and glyphosate tolerance will be available in 40 Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® traited CROPLAN® products ranging in maturity from 0.0 to 6.9.
 
Additional information on the chemistry and adjuvants related to Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® will be forthcoming as the EPA completes its approval process.
 
Contact your local WinField retailer to learn more about what this technology could mean for your operation. 

Late-Season Nitrogen Applications Hit the Sweet Spot

Jonathan Zuk
Agronomist
Unrivaled research and demonstration programs from the Answer Plot® Program help WinField deliver customized farming recommendations and fuel our cutting-edge ag technology tools.

WinField research teams plant competitor products, partner products and WinField products in side-by-side trials over multiple seasons, then evaluate these data points at local, regional and national levels from 191 locations across 32 states. This impartial testing provides comprehensive data you can use to confidently make decisions for your own operation.

Over the coming weeks, we will share some of the more significant insights derived from our 2015 Answer Plot® Program, such as:

Trials showed a positive yield response to split-season and late-season nitrogen (N) applications made at critical corn growth stages.

Methodology
Researchers compared three application scenarios
  1. Total N allotment applied at planting
  2. Two-thirds of N allotment applied at planting, one-third at V10
  3. Total N allotment applied at planting, followed by additional N at VT 
Both split applications were made with the 360 Y-DROP™ applicator for precise placement at the stalk base.*

Results
  • Total N allotment at planting: 235.9 bu/A
  • Split application at planting/V10: 245.3 bu/A (Average yield increase of 9.4 bu/A)
  • Total N at planting, then additional N at VT: 247.1 bu/A (Average yield increase of 11.2 bu/A)
By making the second applications at V10 and VT, plants received an N boost during the critical V10 to R2 growth stage, when corn uses about 50 percent of its total nitrogen needs.

Bottom line: Strategic application timing can help eliminate the financial and environmental costs of applying excess nitrogen, and result in additional bushels.

Stay tuned for additional Answer Plot® insights throughout the season.

*2015 Answer Plot® data based on six locations in Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

4 Tools to Help Plan for Success

Answer Plot®
Research Team
With low commodity prices causing concerns this past fall, farmers are looking for ways to receive top returns on their input investments while getting optimal performance from each acre.

WinField has the proprietary tools to help you design an individualized prescription for every field based on this year’s insights.

1. TRUSTED ANSWER PLOT® DATA
With hundreds of replicated trials that include a wide range of products at nearly 200 locations nationwide, the Answer Plot® Program provides one of the industry’s most extensive data sets for use when planning. Based on sound scientific practices and meticulous attention to detail, Answer Plot® data is the basis for customized R7® Tool insights and recommendations that will help you identify the right input investment for each of your fields.

2. R7® TOOL INSIGHTS
Use the R7® Tool to help set realistic yield goals for next season. The R7® Tool allows you to see your fields like never before; viewing field maps with historical data, soil variability and other primary information. Based on each zone’s conditions and precise local Answer Plot® data, you can work with your regional agronomist to develop a customized plan for your operation, including population counts, and fertility and crop protection recommendations to increase potential return on investment.

For current R7® Tool users, you can evaluate the 2014 season with field response and profitability maps to help improve productivity potential and profitability potential next season.



3. CUSTOMIZED TOP 10 HYBRIDS
The Top 10 function within the R7® Tool helps you identify the top 10 best-performing hybrids for different locations within your fields. By matching soil type with Answer Plot® test results, your WinField agronomist can provide you with the right seed product options — including photos of root appearance and anticipated ear size for each hybrid — that have the best chance of success under current conditions.

4. PLANT NUTRITION INSIGHTS
This season’s tissue testing data and analysis with the NutriSolutions 360™ system provides a road map for plant nutrition planning in the coming season. Tissue testing data provides you with insights of how to correct plant nutrient deficiencies throughout the growing season, so your crops are able to reach their optimal yield potential next season.

Contact a local WinField representative for more information.
 

Capturing Maximum ROI

Answer Plot®
Research Team
Marker-assisted breeding technology has dramatically increased the speed of developing new hybrids with improved yields and stress tolerance. This novel breeding process involves testing a small chip removed from the seed coat and endosperm to select seeds with specific genes and traits, drastically shortening the development period.

The question is: Are you reaping the benefits of these new hybrids and varieties as soon as they become available?



"Over the last several years, we’ve seen up to 5- to 6-bushel-per-acre yield increases with many new hybrids as compared to the current elite hybrids," says Brad Miller, region product manager, WinField. "Farmers need to capitalize on these gains as soon as possible or they’re losing out on yield."

MANAGEMENT INSIGHTS ENABLE SUCCESS
A primary reason why you can confidently plant new genetics in a shorter period of time is the management information gleaned through the Answer Plot® program.

"Our Answer Plot® research includes numerous replicated trials for statistical accuracy and a high level of confidence in our data," Miller notes. "Through this research, we develop key insights about the right management practices, such as plant populations, soil types, plant nutrition and other factors that will help farmers capture maximum yield potential the first year they plant new products."

IDENTIFYING SUCCESS
"Farmers are going to have approximately the same cost per acre for seed, whether they’re buying products that came out this year or four years ago," Miller notes. "However, sticking with an older hybrid with less yield potential than new releases for several years could cost that farmer 15 to 20 bushels per acre in lost yield during that time.

"WinField agronomists have the tools to help you take advantage of new seed technology as soon as it’s available and capture maximum return on your seed investment,” he adds.

Review the CROPLAN® 2015 Seed Guide for more information on new hybrids and varieties for the coming season to optimize your yield success and potential ROI.
 

1 Data from 136 Answer Plot® locations.
2 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.


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