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What's Up at DuPont Pioneer
New Tools Coming
Improved agronomic tools, a new fungicide, and corn stover ethanol are just a few of the things DuPont Pioneer is working on these days. In late June, the firm invited agricultural media to its Johnston, Iowa, test plots to observe this technology in action.
Pioneer Field360 services
Hybrid selection and field scouting is getting easier these days. Justin Heath, new services manager for DuPont Pioneer, discussed the firm’s Pioneer Field360 services. This system includes multiple digital tools to give farmers a leg up on what’s happening in their fields.
“It gives up-to-the-minute crop tracking at a field level,” says Heath. “It’s a great tool for agronomic scouting.”
For example, the Pioneer Field360 Select service is a subscription service that enables farmers to monitor fields on a real-time basis for precipitation, growing degree units, and corn stage development.
The Pioneer system also aids farmers with variety selection by enabling accurate analysis of multiple environments and soil types. This enables farmers to plant the right hybrid or variety on the right field, says Heath.
This soggy spring has many corn fields looking like this. It's setting the stage for row crop diseases later this season. DuPont Pioneer is launching a new fungicide called Aproach that has activity on a number of diseases, including white mold in soybeans.
Discovering new herbicide active ingredients is a priority for DuPont Pioneer. In the meantime, though, it is reformulating existing active ingredients. “We are using different types of chemistry in ways we have not before,” says Patrick Bracy, senior marketing manager for DuPont Pioneer.
For example, Realm Q herbicide includes a dry formulation of mesotrione, which reduces the chances of losses through hose leaks and product spills, Bracy says.
Corn Stover Ethanol
Heavy corn residue on wet soils often creates uneven corn stands. DuPont Pioneer may be able to help you get rid of some of that excess residue, and pay you to boot. In mid-2014, it’s planning to bring a cellulosic ethanol plant online near Nevada in central Iowa. Plans are to harvest 590,000 corn stover bales from 190,000 acres in a 30-mile radius from Nevada, says Jan Koninckx, business director for biofuels for DuPont.
Retaining Sufficient Residue
Koninckx and Andy Heggenstaller, DuPont Pioneer agronomy research manager for cellulosic ethanol (right) note sufficient corn residue will still remain in order to retain and build soil organic matter levels. However, removing the excess corn stover will make it easier to grow better corn.
These plots tell the story, says Heggenstaller. This plot stimulates residue left after a 90-bushel corn crop. Granted, you want to grow more corn than this level, but this year’s stand looks excellent with less residue.
This stand mimics residue after a more-normal 180 bushels per acre corn crop. Good yields, but the following year’s stand is more ragged after more residue is left. Tillage simulated in these plots mimics something close to a fall chisel plowing followed by a light spring cultivation trip.
Harvesting 360-bushel per acre corn would be a corn farmer’s Nirvana. Still, an even more ragged stand results in the current year’s corn due to the preceding year’s prolific residue. Removing some of this residue via corn stover harvest would help boost stands and give farmers a payment for the corn stover, too, say DuPont Pioneer officials.
Pioneer Field360 services, Aproach fungicide, corn stover ethanol, corn residue