Timely News from Your Federated Agronomists
stack of seeds
Corn Seed Traits Stack the Options

Since the 1990s, the positive impact of biotechnology on agriculture, and especially corn production, has allowed growers to dramatically reduce input costs, labor, and time in the field. Andrew Usher, Federated Agronomist at the Isanti location, noted that biotech has produced traits in corn - and other seed - that make farming more efficient, reduce the risk of yield loss, and allow producers to grow their operation.
Though only a few of big-name companies researched and developed these industry-changing seed traits, "nearly every corn seed brand on the market carries licenses and products containing those traits," said Usher. And with every passing year of research and development, the biotechnology of seed traits makes it an even greater challenge to make wise hybrid selections.
"The key," said Usher, "is to match your trait packages with the unique qualities of the field, such as insect pressure, rotation, and yield." He offered these examples:
If you rotate cover crops and row crops, and insect pressure is low, you might not need to consider rootworm and other below ground traits in your package. If your issues are above ground, there are many options for protection against corn borer and broad lepidopteran (earworm, armyworm, cutworm, etc.).
If you are in a consistent corn-on-corn routine or intensive two crop rotation (grass to grass) with past insect pressure, you may want to consider multiple modes of action (above and below-ground) to decrease the risk of resistance and yield loss.
Because of the impact of weeds on yield, weeds play significantly into seed trait selection. The Roundup Ready ®  trait is still "very effective when the chemistry is tank- or pre-mixed with other modes of action, [but] weed resistance is becoming an issue," he said. Other weed control traits need to be added to the prescription. "Liberty® (glufosinate) is a broad spectrum contact herbicide that covers down on broadleaf and grassy weeds with little known current resistance issues," said Usher.
Additional new products continue to become available, such as Enlist®, and the trait stacks and options continue to grow. The Federated Agronomists are well positioned to help create field-to-field prescriptions that can be the difference between profit and loss.
As with other essential crop inputs, the investment is as important as the return. Take time to evaluate past problems and pests and "know what level of trait protection is needed," said Usher. Talk to your Federated Agronomist to learn more about seed traits as you prepare for the 2018 growing season.
weeds in corn
Battling Weeds on Conventional Crops

While Round-Up Ready® (RR) crops have dominated in recent years, conventional crops are still fairly popular due to their "lower prices and decent yields," said Kevin Johnson, Federated agronomist at the Osceola location. The catch, he noted, is the "need to have a solid chemical program in place" since, obviously, glyphosate isn't an option on conventional crops.
For a solid corn herbicide Johnson pointed to Acruon®, by Syngenta, which Federated recommends for both conventional and RR hybrids. Acuron has excellent control on tough weeds and "does a very good job on giant ragweed, with season-long control," he said. See this link for more information.
On the soybean side, the herbicide choices "can be a little bit more of a challenge," said Johnson. Starting off with a good pre-emerge, such as Enlite® (see this link), and then layering residuals in multiple applications is very important for soybeans. "Remember that in all conventional hybrids . . . if we lose control of weeds it's a lot harder to gain control, and the chemical programs start to cost more," he said.
Most importantly, on conventional crops the need for a herbicide program can't be stressed enough. There's no one-and-done option. Weed control takes more planned management when glyphosate is out of the picture (although even the glyphosate resistant crops require more weed management now, too).
Johnson noted two key aspects of weed control, on both conventional and RR crops: Scouting fields consistently throughout the growing season, and spraying when weeds are less than four inches high.
Your Federated Agronomist is ready to help determine the best weed management plans for your specific farm needs. Discuss your options before placing your seed and herbicide orders at yearend.
plot harvest
Corn Discovery Plots Yield Valuable Info

Federated Co-ops' Discovery Plot system provides local (east-central MN and western WI) data that compares the hybrids from six major seed suppliers: DeKalb®, Croplan®, Renk®, Legend®, NK®, and Mycogen®. The results from these plots provide valuable information for 2018 seed choices.

Craig Gustafson, Federated's eastern area agronomy division manager, said, " What we found in this year's plots was real tight yield numbers. If there was a hybrid that didn't perform in one location, we found it to yield at another. This is powerful information for both our customers and the Federated Agronomy team." Gustafson added that "k nowing the strengths of where to place a hybrid is critical to the success of the hybrid and the return on investment for the grower."

Federated offers a big thank you to the following Discovery Plot cooperators. Click on the names to see the corn plot results for that location.

Cramaur Farms - Craig, Margret, and Andre Mold - Rush City
Lenneman Farms - Greg, Eugene, and Wayne Lenneman - St. Michael
Doug & Lori Lezer - Sauk Rapids
Steffen Farms - Todd, Robert, and Clint Steffen - Ogilvie
Gustafson said, once again, "Thank you, plot cooperators."
For more information concerning the Discovery Plot system and/or this year's results, contact your nearest Federated Agronomist.
Federated Co-ops, Inc. |  763-389-2582