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CropTalk: New Soybean PFR Proven™ Products and Practices

January 2020

Published on Friday, January 03, 2020

What do you want? More profitability and yield! When do you want it? Now! How are you going to get there? By checking out the latest additions to Beck’s PFR Proven™ products and practices! Over the past four harvest seasons, Beck's PFR program has tested hundreds of products and practices to identify the most consistent, yield-enhancing and money-making strategies for your farm. Added to the elite PFR Proven class were 18 products and practices for corn and 10 for soybeans in 2019.

What is PFR Proven?
PFR Proven is an endorsement that was coined during the harvest of 2016 to highlight products and practices tested in PFR that have yield increases each year over three or more years of research and average a positive return on investment (ROI). When determining what innovations to try on your farm, PFR Proven is a great place to start. Pages 13-65 in the 2019 PFR Book highlight our 58 PFR Proven products and practices.

Closing Wheels in Soybeans
Sidewall compaction can restrict root growth, which limits nutrient uptake. Using aftermarket closing wheels can assist in reducing sidewall compaction compared to standard rubber closing wheels. Aggressive closing wheels provide more soil coverage in the seed trench to protect the seeds from herbicides and insects compared to the open seed slots we sometimes see with rubber closing wheels. Three-year, multi-location data reflects an average 1.8 Bu./A. yield advantage across four different aftermarket closing wheels when used in soybeans. Compared to standard solid rubber closing wheels, Yetter Poly Twisters had a 2.5 Bu./A. yield gain, Copperhead Ag Furrow Cruisers® had a 1.7 Bu./A. bump, SI Distributing Finger-Till resulted in a 1.6 Bu./A. jump, and Schaffert Mohawks™ provided a 1.3 Bu./A. yield advantage, making them all PFR Proven in 2019 (Figure 1).

Foliar Micronutrients at R1
Most farmers routinely use fertilizers that include the primary macronutrients – nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium– in their nutrient management programs. Micronutrients like iron, manganese, zinc, copper, boron, and molybdenum are not as frequently applied to fields. Micronutrients are just as important as macronutrients; the difference is that micronutrients are required in smaller quantities than macronutrients. Applications of MicroBlitz™ and Microhance™ — micronutritionals with a blend of macronutrients — have seen consistent yield gains and positive ROI’s over the last three years. These products are applied at the R1 growth stage (beginning flowering) to provide additional nutrients to the plant for maximum pod-fill potential. The ROI with MicroBlitz and Microhance were $16.70/A. and $13.98/A., respectively. (Figure 3).

Sugar at R1
The low input cost of foliar sugar applications is why positive ROI’s have been captured the last three years in PFR for soybeans. A plant's defense mechanisms can be trigged by a foliar application of sugar; it also can attract beneficial insects. Feed grade dextrose and eXceed™ Nano Brown Sugar have averaged three-year returns of $12.85 Bu./A. and $8.90 Bu./A., respectively, when applied at the R1 growth stage (Figure 4).

Broad Spectrum Fungicide at R3 Fungicides promote plant health and enhance stress tolerance. Delaro™ contains the fungicide mode of action (MOA) Groups 3 and 11. Dual MOAs of trifloxystrobin and prothioconazole provide long-term residual effects. Curative and preventative defense to soybean diseases are supplied with an R3 application of Delaro. An ROI of $5.01/A. was captured using the fungicide the past three growing seasons (Figure 2).

PFR Proven Takeaways
Multi-location, multi-year data from the new PFR Proven products on soybeans captures the consistency of the products’ performance. Consider implementing these agronomic strategies on the following: 1. Low organic matter soils Look into foliar micronutrient and sugar products 2. Areas that are prone to disease pressure Fungicides can protect and cure disease 3. Fields that contain heavy residue, such as no-till conditions Aftermarket closing wheels can improve seed-to-soil contact and uniformity of emergence

Not every product or practice will be a solution for every field. Making sure to keep fields records and scouting notes will guide you to implementing the best PFR Proven decisions on your soybean fields. Be sure to check out the 2019 PFR Proven products in the 2019 PFR studies online at www.beckshybrids.com/pfresearch/

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Deatra Gremaux
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Deatra Gremaux

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