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CropTalk: NEW! PFR Studies for 2020

April 2020

Published on Thursday, April 02, 2020

For farmers across the Midwest, the 2019 growing season proved more challenging and stressful than your “normal” year. While some suffered more than others, 2019 yields as a whole were not as catastrophic as many predicted. This is mainly due to the nearly ideal weather we experienced in September.

September was abnormally warm compared to average, resulting in the necessary heat units to finish the latest planted corn crop in recent history. Accompanying the warmer temperatures were sunny, clear skies and timely rain events, both of which were a saving grace for maximizing the grain-fill period of our late crop.

Personally, the biggest lesson I learned in 2019 was: “Never give up on your crop.” Those farmers who didn’t give up, stuck to their plan with full-season hybrids, were more aggressive in managing nitrogen, and sprayed fungicides were rewarded generously. It was these learnings that sparked our Practical Farm Research (PFR)® team’s studies looking at how planting date affects other management practices throughout the season. Ultimately, this research will help us make more informed decisions when faced with late-planting situations in the future.

Examples of some of these new studies:


Planting Date - Population Response: Should we increase or decrease populations in a delayed planting scenario?

Planting Date - Fungicide Response: Do fungicides pay in late-planted situations? Conventional wisdom would say yes, due to disease infecting the plant at earlier stages of development and therefore resulting in a greater impact on yield. We are going to put some numbers to it.

Thin Stand Management - Nitrogen Response and Fungicide Response: Sometimes, we are better off keeping a thinner stand that is planted early as opposed to tearing it up and hoping for a better stand planted weeks later. Does nitrogen response or fungicide response change in this situation? We are going to find out.


Planting Date - Variety Response: Soybeans are photoperiod sensitive, so planting date could have a significant impact on the yield potential of certain relative maturities. Should we be more intentional about what varieties we plant early vs. late in the year?

Planting Date - Fungicide Response: Fungicide is the first thing many skip when planting gets delayed. We know that R3 fungicide application pays early and one could assume that they would pay in a late-planted scenario due to PFR research in double crop soybeans showing a positive ROI, but now we will have an even more robust data set to use.

Replant Threshold - 15 in. and 30 in. Rows: A large portion of the replant data available is dated. Our goal is to reevaluate soybean replant thresholds with today’s practices, including earlier planting dates and improved planting technology.

The studies above are just a preview of the 28 NEW PFR Studies planned for 2020. Look for more articles in future CropTalk publications highlighting some of the other research.

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Author: Travis Burnett

Categories: CropTalk, 2020

Tags: CropTalk, PFR Studies, 2020 pfr

Travis Burnett

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