This year is no different than past years. Growers still need to plant a crop and produce it in the most efficient way they can. The biggest wrinkle to this story is that over the past several years, growers have been faced with the fact that farm revenues have not kept pace with farm expenses. This has caused growers to see a decline in net farm income over the past three years. Yet corn growers still plan to put themselves in the best possible opportunity to maximize yields. To do this, they are looking at each step of their management practice more closely to ensure its value.
Growers have identified the need to plant earlier to maximize their corn yields. This realization is due to research on earlier planting, operational efficiencies as well as trying to be ahead of Mother Nature. These reasons have caused growers’ planting practices to move up, on average 7 to 10 days earlier (USDA, National Agricultural Statistic Service). At the same time, growers have seen an average decline in yields of up to one percent a day if pushed beyond the optimal window for planting in a given geography.
This increase in planting dates has consequently put added pressure on the developing seedling. Growers have used “pop up” starters to give the developing plants added nutrients that were easily obtained to provide crucial nutrients during the plant’s emergence. This is essential in areas where conditions are not that favorable for the growing corn plant. But what other factors need to be looked at?
Seed treatments provide the first line of defense by protecting the developing seedling within its first couple of weeks of development. However, more protection is needed when faced with the added pressure of earlier planting and planting in tougher conditions. The developing plants have been thrust into a new realm of extremes and face increasing disease pressure like that of Rhizoctonia seed and seedling rot, Fusarium seed rot and seedling blight, and Pythium damping off.
In the past couple of years, growers have started the movement of using a foundation of fungicide in the furrow to mitigate the adverse effects associated with planting in these conditions. This adoption of fungicide in the furrow has given growers greater confidence as they have seen quicker emergence as well as more overall plants compared to an untreated acre.
Growers can relate to the results that they see with an in-furrow fungicide treatment, as the increase in plant stands can be very dramatic. BASF has observed that in-furrow fungicide application on average provides an additional 1,000 more plants compared to untreated. This greater seed establishment sets the grower up for success.
Xanthion fungicide* contains the industry-leading Headline ® Fungicide, combined with an EPA registered biofungicide, providing the corn grower with effective defense against fungal diseases such as Rhizoctonia, Fusarium spp. and suppression of Pythium spp. This can ultimately enhance root growth, seedling vigor and cold tolerance, and provides the corn grower the greatest opportunity for early crop establishment in situations like cool, wet soils.
*Always read and follow label directions.
Xanthion is a trademark of BASF.
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