Beck's Blog

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CropTalk: Trial Walks are a Solid "Choice"

June 2020

Published on Monday, June 01, 2020

What is your biggest yield-limiting factor in an individual field? As I have asked farmers this question, the answers I’ve received are all over the board. Several of the more common responses include emergence, drainage, soil type, sunlight, fertility, diseases, and, of course, the weather. It should be noted that for every yield limiting factor, there is a corresponding corn or soybean characteristic that can help to overcome that factor — even the weather.

Not all hybrids and varieties are created equal. As margins are tight this year, the importance of picking the right hybrid and variety becomes even more important. You know your fields and management practices better than Beck’s does. We have vast experience with our products over many seasons before they enter the commercial line up. Now, we need to put the two together. Which hybrid or variety has the characteristics to overcome the yield-limiting factors in each of your fields?

Later this summer, you will have the opportunity to attend one of our Choice Trial fi eld events where you will interact with regional product specialists, agronomists, your seed advisor, and your local dealer to identify products and placements to fi t your individual farming practices. You will fi nd out which products will work with the populations you plant and your nitrogen management strategy.

Fungicides are a decision that farmers wrestle with every year. Do some products need a fungicide while others are less responsive? The answer will be different based on your geography. Some diseases are more prevalent up north, such as Northern corn leaf blight and tar spot. Others are more prevalent further south, such as southern rust and gray leaf spot, while Physoderma is more of a problem further west and crown rot and Gibberella ear mold are a bigger issue in the east. By attending a Choice Trial walk, you will have the chance to learn more about how each individual product responds to these diseases. Some of you may just want the healthiest hybrid out there because you are not investing in a fungicide. But, you need to understand the tradeoffs; a more defensive-type hybrid may not have the yield potential of an offensive hybrid. Understanding those tradeoffs when making your seed decisions for next year could be the difference between a profit and a loss.

As I walk fields with farmers throughout the growing season, one of the more common questions I receive is, “Can you explain to me what you are looking at?” Often, we see a crop that is growing well and has a good stand and calculate the yield potential. We may talk about some agronomic issues we can tweak to make a few more bushels as well. It is the intricate hybrid details you will learn on a Choice Trial walk that will determine if a product is right for your farm. These Choice Trial walks are an excellent opportunity to discuss why these products may or may not be a good fit for your farm.

Please reach out to your local seed advisor or dealer to find out how you can join us for one of these events this summer. You will be glad you did.

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Author: Mark Apelt

Categories: CropTalk, 2020

Tags: CropTalk, choice trials

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Mark Apelt

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