Many growers know that planting early has a lot of advantages, including a strong establishment, which gives the plant plenty of time to grow to its full potential. This leads to reduced drydown costs and a possibility of increased yields.
Planting early can also come with some risks, because colder and more unpredictable temperatures often leave crops more susceptible to disease and insect problems.
Soybean seedlings are especially vulnerable to diseases that can culminate in cool, wet soil, such as sudden death syndrome, cyst nematode and pod and stem blight.
It can be tough to choose between the benefits and risks of early planting, which is why many growers turn to in-furrow application of crop protection inputs. By protecting the crop from the very start, growers can reap the yield benefits of early planting while giving the crop the extra boost of protection it needs in its fragile state early on in the season.
With the recent cool and wet conditions this spring, corn plants that were treated in-furrow are getting a greater jump out of the ground and showing increased stand count despite adverse conditions and potential for disease. As shown in the photo above, the plants treated with Xanthion In-Furrow Fungicide were observed to have an average stand count of 35,000 plants/acre vs. untreated plants at 29,000 plants/acre. This was observed over 250 acres in central Illinois where conditions have been cool and wet for the past 2-3 weeks since planting.
At our LIFT Summit last October, Scott Stout from BASF talked about why in-furrow application is so important, especially when growers are considering early planting:
Transcript for In-Furrow Helps Growers Benefit From Early Planting
I think some of the advantages – especially as growers are getting larger and planting earlier and earlier – is that it lends to a lot of different factors. With [the soil] being cool and wet, you’re going into soils that may be more disease and insect ridden. [In-furrow] gives the grower that peace of mind that [the crop] is protected, and no matter what timing they’re going in, as far as planting earlier and earlier, it gives them the utmost production and greatest possibility for the best crop.