Crops Technology Editor for Successful Farming magazine/


4 considerations regarding 2011 corn hybrids

It used to be you’d have a few weeks after harvest before thinking about next year’s corn hybrid lineup. No more. The selling season now starts in late summer and is well underway at harvest.

Here are four things to consider and expect as you pick 2011 hybrids that Syngenta Seeds officials discussed during this week’s Syngenta Media Summit.

1) Diversify your hybrid lineup. Planting a diverse group of high-yielding hybrids is a time-tested way to reduce risk against variable weather. But how can you tell you’re indeed planting hybrids with different genetics?

Bayer's latest

Picture this: A herbicide with a weed spectrum that rivals glyphosate. Plus, it has residual, something which glyphosate doesn’t have. It also breaks down quickly in the soil, has a low active ingredient use rate, and costs no more than glyphosate.

Is that possible?

“It you put all those aspects together, maybe it is a dream,” says Rudiger Scheitza, head of global portfolio management for Bayer CropScience. “Maybe one day, though, it could become a realistic dream.”

This “new glyphosate” is a compound for which Bayer CropScience scientists are searching.

Weather, tough crop protection environment declines first-half 2010 Bayer CropScience sales

Remember last winter, when many of your became sick and tired of cleaning snow out your farmyard day after day?

Well, last year’s rough winter in many parts of the United States prompted some heartburn in the corporate offices of Bayer CropScience, too. Bayer executives reported this week at its annual press conference in Monheim, Germany, that sales for Bayer CropScience declined 3% during the first half of 2010 from last year.


Agricultural pesticides face rigorous route to market

The odds are stacked against a molecule on its way to making it as an agricultural pesticide on the market.

“It’s very difficult to get a compound to market, but it is not impossible,” says Leonardo Pitta, a scientist with Bayer CropScience who works with agricultural insecticides. “We are constantly finding new molecules.”


Combat glyphosate-resistant weeds with the old & the new

Herbicide resistant weeds -- not just those resistant to glyphosate -- are continuing to wreak weed-management havoc.

“There are biotypes no longer controlled by previously effective herbicides,” says Aaron Hager, University of Illinois (U of I) Extension weed specialist. In one Illinois case, a waterhemp biotype is resistant to not only glyphosate, but also an additional three herbicide action modes.

The good news? Glyphosate (used on over 95% of soybean acres and 70% of corn acres) continues to be the cornerstone of most weed-control systems.


Farmers for the Future: Launching young farmers

Remember the 1995 movie, "Mr. Holland's Opus?" Its end showed scores of former students who reaped lifetime lessons taught by a humble music teacher.

Well, Roger and Monie Thompson have created a similar "opus" -- a top career achievement that one accomplishes -- of young southwestern Ohio farmers. The Springfield, Ohio, producers have helped start 22 young farmers since the 1980s. It's their way of passing on the help they received from folks early in their farming career.

"Everyone helps everyone," says Roger.


What’s up with weeds

South Dakota State University tour examines manganese/glyphosate interactions, glyphosate tolerance alternatives, and preemergence herbicide benefits.