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.
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