Growing Knowledge

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

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.

Understand the Value of Foliar Health

Dan Griffin
technical seed agronomist
If you could look into a crystal ball during 2019 planning, what would it tell you? Obviously, there’s no predicting the future in agriculture, but you can use data to help inform your decision-making.
 
Every year, WinField United generates response-to-fungicide data for all the hybrids being tested in nearly 200 Answer Plot® locations nationwide. In 2017, the results demonstrated a national average yield gain of 11.2 bushels per acre, following a tassel application of fungicide. These gains are often twice this amount in the eastern Corn Belt, due to high rainfall, heat, humidity and fungal pathogen populations that overwinter on crop residue, causing foliar disease pressure throughout the growing season.
 
But where on an ear of corn do we physically see the benefit of a foliar fungicide application?
This year in Ohio, our local WinField United team designed a new Answer Plot demonstration called the “Ear Leaf Demo” to show how response to fungicide can be seen on an ear of corn. As you consider input investments for the year ahead, the results from this demonstration can help you better understand the value of a foliar fungicide application.
 
Leaf surface area leads to grain fill
The ear leaf is the most important leaf on a corn plant because it powers the photosynthetic ability of the plant late into the season. Protecting the ear leaf, and the leaves above it, adds yield through increased kernel depth, which is a critical component to high-yielding corn. Gray leaf spot, northern corn leaf blight and southern rust destroy the photosynthetic ability of a given leaf by infecting the plant and decreasing the amount of photosynthetically active leaf surface area. Decreased leaf surface area diminishes the plant’s ability to add yield through kernel depth. Foliar fungicides play an important part in preserving ear leaf integrity during the grain fill period, which could contribute to increased yield potential.
 
To demonstrate leaf integrity’s critical role in yield growth, we removed the ear leaf for a block of eight rows and left it intact on the adjacent eight rows. There were no other differences between the two treatment zones. The removal of the ear leaf simulates the impact a foliar disease can have if it attacks the surface area of the leaf. During a year of high disease pressure in Ohio, the visual results were impressive. Remember, yield response to a VT/R1 fungicide application is not seen in increased kernel rows or length — it is seen in increased kernel depth.
 
Overhead view of full-length corn

10-22-Overhead-image-of-corn-kernel-depth-(2).png
In these images, the increased kernel depth is easily identified. Both the plant with an ear leaf intact (left) and the plant with an ear leaf removed at R1 (right) have the same number of kernels around and the length. But notice the stark difference in kernel depth between the two. The plant with an intact ear leaf added much more kernel depth and, in turn, will have the higher yield potential come harvest.
 
This is how fungicide applications can provide value: providing disease resistance on the ear leaf to preserve the plant’s photosynthetic ability longer into grain fill. Understanding that value is important as 2019 planning begins. Be sure to speak with your local agronomist about whether you should set aside a disease protection budget for next year.
 
© 2018 WinField United. Answer Plot is a trademark of WinField United.
 

Success in 2019 Starts with the Right Cotton Varieties

Robert Cossar
Technical Seed Manager and Cotton Product Manager
With any luck, you have navigated cotton harvest through a soggy fall and are looking ahead to 2019 planting decisions. Yield and quality are always top considerations when selecting cotton varieties, but there are additional factors you and your agronomist will want to keep in mind as you finalize your choices.
 
Insect control
This year wasn’t just wet, it was also buggy. Many growers in the Mid-South saw high numbers of bollworm escapes, and there is growing concern that tolerance and resistance to current traits may be happening. This makes selecting the right traits even more important. Fortunately, many of today’s cotton varieties assist with delivering insect control.
 
For example, Genuity® Bollgard II® cotton uses advanced technology to help provide protection from lepidopterous pests, including cotton bollworm. Bollgard® 3 cotton adds another protein — Vip3A — to the Cry1AC and Cry2AB Bt proteins found in Genuity® Bollgard II® cotton varieties, helping to produce a triple mode of action scenario. Widely available for planting in 2019, this broader spectrum of worm control could translate into fewer sprays and less potential damage to your cotton all season long. 
 
Weed control
Developing and implementing a good weed management program is crucial to helping your crop achieve its yield and quality potential. Both Bollgard® 3 and Genuity® Bollgard II® cotton offer varieties with XtendFlex® Technology, which is the first cotton technology that provides tolerance to glyphosate, glufosinate and dicamba. In addition to choosing the right traits for weed management, be sure to scout when plants begin putting on squares, as well as bolls, to stay ahead of any resource competition.
 
Geography
Because we handpick seed from the industry's top genetics, we can offer a broad selection of varieties specially adapted to local conditions. Selecting the right cotton variety for your specific geography is important to help ensure optimal performance. 
 
For example, the CROPLAN® brand brings multiple transgenic cotton varieties to the market:
  • 9178B3XF is an early-maturity variety best adapted for the northern Mid-South and upper Southeast regions.
  • 3527B2XF is an early-mid type that is best positioned on highly managed acres.
  • 3226B2XF is a great option for the Texas Panhandle market.
  • 3885B2XF is a mid-maturity variety that has great adaptability across the Cotton Belt and excellent performance in the southeast, lower Mid-South and Texas.
  • 9608B3XF is a medium-maturity variety that has a broad fit from southern Texas across the Cotton Belt, the Mid-South and the East Coast. It is adaptable across soil types and yield levels.
  • 9598B3XF is a medium-maturity variety best suited for the High Plains of west Texas.
 
Your agronomist can help you choose the genetics that help deliver the quality and yield potential that meet the demands of your specific region.


WinField United continues to test new cotton varieties each season to ensure we can offer the best genetics in yield and fiber quality. On-farm, university and independent trials measure how these varieties perform on different soil types and under various management practices. Work with your local WinField United representative to determine which cotton varieties you should consider for the 2019 growing season. You can also find more about CROPLAN cotton varieties here.
 
© 2018 WinField United. Important: Before use always read and follow label instructions. Crop performance descriptions are based on internal trials conducted by WinField United and/or sourced from the genetic supplier. In any event, performance is dependent on soil, pest pressures, weather conditions, and other factors beyond the control of WinField United. Growers are encouraged to consider data from multiple locations, over multiple years, and be mindful of how such conditions could impact grower’s fields. CROPLAN® is a trademark of WinField United. Bollgard®, Bollgard II®, Genuity®, and XtendFlex® are trademarks used under license from Monsanto Technology, LLC.

Testing the Future of Spray Technology

Jonathan Zuk
Regional Agronomist
Not all DRAs are created equal. Host Jon Zuk is joined by WinField United senior engineer Dan Bissell to discuss the groundbreaking spray research coming out of the Innovation Center on the latest episode of The Deal With Yield podcast.
Season 14, Episode 6: Testing the Future of Spray Technology


Adjuvant Research That Proves Itself in the Tank

Darrin Holder
Agronomist, WinField United
Every spring, you probably make a significant investment in crop protection products. But are they performing as well as they could be? Adding a quality adjuvant to your tank mix can help more product reach its target and be more effective once it gets there.
 
Finding answers
Researchers at the WinField United Innovation Center use state-of-the-art technology to evaluate the entire crop protection product application process, resulting in the creation of leading-edge adjuvants, herbicides, insecticides and fungicides to help you be successful in the field.
 
During the growing season, we run field trials to see exactly how our adjuvants perform with a variety of crop protection products. Year-round, our staff runs many compounds through our Spray Analysis System to observe how different combinations of adjuvants and active ingredients affect spray quality. Spray chambers at the Innovation Center allow products to be tested much like they would be in the field, with the same size nozzles and nozzle orientation as a full-size sprayer.
 
Laboratory testing, as well as research conducted under regulated growing conditions in greenhouses and growth chambers, lets us test products without the unpredictability of the external environment. This leads to greater efficiency, consistency and precision. Determining product specifics such as shelf life and mixing capabilities helps WinField United bring a more complete product to market.
 
The numbers tell the story
Research indicates that WinField United adjuvants help increase the efficacy of crop protection products, giving you the opportunity to increase yield and ROI potential. Here are just a few data points.
  • MasterLock® adjuvant helps improve fungicide response on corn, increasing yields by an average of 5.7 bushels per acre.1
  • Class Act® NG® adjuvant doubles the amount of glyphosate uptake over ammonium sulfate (AMS).2
  • StrikeLock® adjuvant is as good as or better than other high-surfactant oils in weed control, outperforming them approximately 14 percent of the time.3
 
In addition, InterLock® adjuvant delivers more droplets in the ideal droplet diameter spectrum, increases droplet speed without thickening the spray and helps get more active ingredient deeper into the plant canopy.
 
The way I think about applying a crop protection product is, If I don’t do this right, I’m in a respray situation. And nobody makes money in a respray situation. You’ve got to start with the correct amount of active ingredient per acre, then use a quality adjuvant to get as much of that active ingredient as possible to the target.
 
 
Talk with your local trusted advisor about how adding a quality adjuvant to the tank can help you get more out of your crop protection products.
 
 
1. WinField United. Fourteen studies, eight states, all fungicides, 2012–2017.
2. Westra P. Colorado State University.
3. WinField United trials (Answer Plot® and product development sites), 2014–2016.
 
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.

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