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Sponsored: The Colder and Wetter the Better
Early planting in corn can mean significantly higher yields. In fact, multi-year data from Beck’s Practical Farm Research (PFR)® across six sites in the Midwest has shown that the optimum planting date window for corn is early to mid-April and planting that occurs after these optimal windows typically results in decreased yields.
In recent years, many farmers have been pushing these optimum windows even earlier thanks to advancements in in-furrow fungicide and insecticide technologies. In-furrow fungicide and insecticide applications help protect the seedling at its most vulnerable emergence state while nourishing the seed when it needs it most. By alleviating plant stress that hinders yield potential, these applications can lead to healthier plant stands, increased root size, and improved disease and pest control.
In most cases, farmers are seeing increased yields with these products. While a yield bump is great, in tough economic times with low corn prices, the real question we need to be asking ourselves is if they are actually providing a return on our investment.
For the last two years, Beck’s PFR team has been evaluating four different products in an effort to determine their effect on yield and profitability when applied in-furrow. These products, including Capture® LFR®, Serenade® ASO, Ethos® XB, and Xanthion™ were all evaluated on two hybrids with different emergence ratings against a control receiving just a starter.
What this research has continued to prove is that these products have the greatest impact on yield when pushing earlier planting dates with less than ideal conditions. Spring seasons with wet soils and cooler temperatures make for lethargic, early growth of the seedlings which increase the plant’s susceptibility to early-season seedling disease and insect pressure.
However, when planting conditions are ideal and soil conditions are warm and dry, in-furrow fungicide and insecticide applications are less than profitable. In some instances, they have also resulted in a negative ROI, even in cases when yields were increased.
In 2016, Beck’s Kentucky PFR site was the only site in 2016 that saw a positive ROI with all four products tested when compared to the control. It just so happens that of the four sites conducting this study, Kentucky was also the only one that experienced cold, wet conditions at, and immediately following, planting.
While all four products provided a positive return, the greatest ROI was with Serenade which provided an average increase of $31.40/A. across both hybrids tested. The two-year, multi-location data, however, supports Capture LFR with a $13.74/A. average increase across two years of testing.
Beck’s PFR will continue to evaluate these in-furrow products. More consistent data will allow us to make specific recommendations that will help farmers see increased profits as they continue to push early planting dates.
For regional data on these in-furrow products, check out the links below.
Beck’s PFR is the largest source of unbiased, cutting-edge agronomic information in the industry. More than 110 different studies were conducted in 2016, comparing over 150 products across multiple locations to learn how different management practices and new technologies perform in field environments. In evaluating agronomic practices and input products, not comparing seed products, Beck’s PFR aims to help farmers maximize their input dollars and increase their bottom line. To view more studies from the 2016 PFR book, click here .
Practical Farm Research (PFR)® is a registered trademark of Beck’s Superior Hybrids Inc. Capture®, LFR®, and Ethos® are registered trademarks of FMC Corporation. Serenade® is a registered trademark of Bayer. Xanthion™ is a trademark of BASF.