With corn prices depressed, growers are looking to invest wisely to produce more bushels and increase their net income. Creating an environment that maximizes the productivity of every seedling from the start pays dividends.
“A strong start is one of the things you have to do to get the full value of every seed,” says Fred Below, University of Illinois researcher and crop physiologist. “Protecting and nourishing corn early is extremely important for high yields. Much of a corn plant’s yield is made at a very young stage. By the five-leaf stage, about 150 bushels of yield is already made or not made on an acre of corn. If you don’t achieve that early, it’s hard to recover.”
He emphasizes the importance of uniform stands. “We don’t want to leave plants behind. The plant that comes up two days later than its neighbor will have half the yield of the other plants,” says Below. “Uniform emergence is even more critical if growers decide to reduce plant populations to save money. Then they really need every plant to come up.” Planting practices, compaction, moisture, nutrients, diseases and insects are important factors influencing stand uniformity.
In-Furrow Technologies Improve Stands
Below sees value in protecting and feeding the crop in the furrow. “By the four-leaf stage, the corn plant is off seed reserves and is completely on its own. Seed treatments protect the seed. In-furrow treatments protect the seedling. It’s an important difference,” says Below.
It’s a difference that leads to improved stand counts, uniformity and higher yields, according to David Wheeler, FMC technical business manager. “We see more than a 1,400 plant per acre stand advantage with our in-furrow products. Capture® LFR® Insecticide has improved stand counts over untreated checks in 90 percent of grower-reported trials over three years. It boosts yields an average of 11 bushels per acre,” says Wheeler. “Even more exciting, our newest product, Ethos™ XB insecticide/fungicide, has shown yield benefits over Capture LFR insecticide in a majority of our development trials.”
Full Spectrum Insect & Disease Protection
Ethos XB insecticide/fungicide is the first in-furrow solution for insect and disease control. Powered by the active ingredient in Capture LFR insecticide and a broad-spectrum preventative biofungicide, Ethos XB insecticide/fungicide offers the broadest spectrum of corn seedling defense against soil pests and diseases. It protects seedlings from corn rootworms, wireworms, grubs, seed corn maggots, cutworms and common stalk borers. The powerful biological fungicide aids in control of Fusarium, Pythium, Phytophthora and Rhizoctonia.
“The benefit of integrated in-furrow insect and disease control is that you can manage more yield-limiting factors and that gives you a better chance of bumping yields up to the next level,” explains Wheeler.
In-furrow application of Ethos XB insecticide/fungicide product enhances insect and disease protection by covering the area around the seed and in the furrow. The biofungicide in the Ethos XB product extends disease protection well beyond typical seed treatment protection.
“We are focused on creating a Zone of Production™, an environment where seedlings emerge more quickly, more uniformly and with the vigor needed to optimize production,” says Wheeler. “Growers are planting earlier and under more adverse conditions. Our Ethos XB insecticide/fungicide protects each seedling with the most convenient and broadest spectrum insect and disease control.”
Below’s research shows that a combined high-tech package of modern genetics, crop protection products and fertilizers creates synergies that magnify the value of each technology. “Sometimes it’s not what you do, but what you don’t do that kills your yields. The whole is much greater than the sum of its parts. In a high-technology package, we are pushing everything in concert and those factors are working together,” says Below.
He sees the LIFT approach as another component of a season-long, high-tech package. “Companies are working together to combine multiple active ingredients and products because they want to take advantage of synergies and provide greater value,” says Below.
Ethos XB Insecticide/Fungicide and Capture LFR Insecticide are restricted use pesticides. Always read and follow label directions. FMC, Ethos, Capture and LFR are trademarks of FMC Corporation or an affiliate. ©2015 FMC Corporation. All rights reserved. 16-FMC-0776 11/15