As farmers prepare for the 2020 harvest, GROWMARK and FS are in the midst of research and technology enhancements to help farmers boost yields in 2021 and beyond.

Prairieland FS offered a glimpse of the latest crop technology and recommendations to manage weeds recently during its virtual Field Insight Day.

MiField Applied Research involved about 170 field trials in 2019 and at least that many this season to help farmers better understand new product availability and performance, according to Craig Ator, Prairieland FS seed marketing manager.

Prairieland FS offers insights into greater yield potential

“Farmers want to know, ‘will this work on my farm,” Ator said during the online field day. “This is the way we find out if we can bring better ROI or not.”

The research involves triple threat trials to better respond to crop disease, insects and micronutrient deficiency. Fungicide/insecticide trials last year showed a large return on investment for customers who participated, according to Ator.

Products under the microscope this year include NutriSeed, a seed treatment designed to provide optimal germination and accelerate seedling development, and YieldOn, a biostimulant to boost corn and soybean yields.

New genetic packages from FS InVISON include Trecepta technology, which combines three modes of action for broad-spectrum control of above-ground feeding pests, such as black cutworms, along with more SmartStax hybrids, including non-GMO options.

Looking ahead, XtendFlex technology, pending approval, adds tolerance of glufosinate along with dicamba and glyphosate to provide more herbicide options for soybean growers. Enlist E3 and LibertyLink GT 27 also offer enhanced weed control.

“There are many soy traits for the 2021 season,” said David Powell, senior agronomy services manager for GROWMARK. “Farmers need to focus on a systems approach for managing weeds.”

That approach starts with a clean field prior to planting via a burndown or tillage, use of a pre-emergence herbicide followed by a post-emergence combination and an overlapping residual.

“The easiest weed to control is one that never emerges,” Powell said. “Skipping any of these steps can result in failure of a weed management system.”

Farmers who control weeds at the seed stage also expose fewer plants to post-herbicides, thus reducing resistance pressure. The critical time to keep soybean fields weed-free extend from planting through the third trifoliate stage.

“Early season management decisions can increase yield potential,” Powell said. “Regardless of the number of traits you plant, there are herbicide options.”

Powell also reminds farmers to follow labels for recommended rates. A reduction of herbicide rates can lower effectiveness of an application and boost resistance pressure.