Farmers across the country have been hit with severe weather and flooding, which significantly delayed the planting season this spring. By June 9 in the highest-producing states, just 60% of soybean acres had been planted compared with the typical 90%, and only 83% of corn was planted compared to the usual 100%.
But now that the seeds are in the ground and the growing season is well on its way, albeit several weeks behind schedule, farmers still have an opportunity to maximize the return on their planting investment by making informed applications to their crops to improve yields and profitability.
“If you are not familiar with the industry, you may think you just plant seed and wait for harvest,” says Brant Gilbert, Director of CPP Marketing. “A ton goes on after the crop is planted. In-season management is essentially a recipe in place for every farmer, every acre, to maximize yields.”
Corn prices are climbing; the current price of corn on July 23 was $4.25 per bushel. In July 2018, the corn price was $3.62. Using specific in-season management practices can help growers maximize their bushels per acre, helping the bottom line.
Considering the delayed planting season and an overall decrease in planted acres, it’s important to get the most out of what’s in the ground, especially while corn prices continue to rise. And with weed season management wrapping up, it’s time to shift your focus to micronutrient and fungicide treatments for crops.
Wet soils, like the conditions our growers are facing this year, can cause a reduction in nutrient uptake, leading to deficiencies in essential nutrients. Using WinField United products, micronutrient absorption can be increased, optimizing yields.
MAX-IN® products combine CornSorb® technology that increases droplet spread, droplet coverage and moisture. This allows for the increased movement of nutrients through the leaf cuticle to internal leaf structures. MAX-IN® helps ensure that the nutrients applied actually get into the plant.
To solve nutrient deficiencies in corn, WinField United suggests MAX-IN® Zinc, a commonly deficient nutrient that aids in plant growth and development. MAX-IN® Ultra ZMB® also supplies zinc, along with manganese and boron, to the plant. In both corn and soybeans, manganese is essential for photosynthesis, while boron helps transfer carbohydrates, or food made during photosynthesis, throughout the plant.
Utilizing these products, you can ensure that targeted nutrient application is getting directly to the plant.
Due to extreme weather, saturated soil conditions have increased the likelihood of higher early-season disease pressure. Fungicide applications can keep plants healthy and disease-free, increasing leaf and root growth.
Saturated soils create an environment for anthracnose leaf blight and northern corn leaf blight, infections caused by pathogens that can lead to the decay of plant tissues, decreasing yield. However, fungicide application can control the spread of disease, increasing stalk standability in the fall.
“A good in-season management approach allows growers to react to whatever environmental conditions may occur,” says Brant.
WinField United’s Masterlock® adjuvant combines their InterLock® and DropTight™ technologies to enhance spray coverage and adhesion, improving fungicide response on corn. The technology combines drift reduction, depositions, and canopy penetration with a surfactant to ensure that the fungicide spreads, and sticks, all over the crop. Masterlock®, in combination with fungicide, can increase corn yield by an average of 5.7 bushels per acre when compared to fungicide alone.
Looking to learn more about micronutrient and fungicide in-season treatments? WinField United’s clinic program offer a great opportunity to educate farmers on the ways our system is working to advance agriculture intelligently. Clinics take the data from our seed and spray analysis system testing, along with our extensive AnswerPlot® data and on-the-ground expertise, to provide insights to owners on best tactics for in-season management.
In-season clinics can provide tissue sampling and wet weather digital campaigns to showcase the effectiveness of MAX-IN® and micronutrient uptake. The clinics can also provide insights on disease control, showcasing the impacts of fungicide application in combination with Masterlock®.
WinField United’s clinics can help growers learn how to get the most out of what’s in the ground, especially this year. “This could be a grower’s last chance to get something on this crop. You’re going to want to maximize your chance,” says Brant.
Through these clinics, and a tailored in-season management approach, growers can have the confidence and the tools they need to tackle the ever-changing challenges on their fields and maximize the profitability of each acre.