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CropTalk: Putting PFR into Practice

June 2020

Published on Monday, June 1, 2020

Beck’s has six Practical Farm Research (PFR)® sites spread throughout the Midwest in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, and Iowa. Although Beck’s PFR sites don’t exist yet in Michigan, Minnesota, and Missouri, customers and dealers alike are implementing PFR Proven™ strategies on their farms. Follow along throughout the 2020 growing season to see how they put Beck’s PFR into practice.

Q. What PFR Strategies have you implemented on your farm?

ROB: On wheat, we have applied Prosaro® 421 SC, which is a PFR Proven™ product. This year, we planted soybeans early – on April 20th. We are also doing a closing wheel study – Copperhead Ag Furrow Cruisers® on half the planter and standard rubbers on the other half. With our starter fertilizer system, we are using the 2x2x2 system and are applying 60 units of nitrogen (N) instead of our standard 30 units. Additional PFR Proven products we are adding this year are PureGrade® Diamond 6-24-6, NanoZyme 2.0, and eXceed™ Nano Brown Sugar in-furrow.

CHAD: Planting corn and soybeans early; going early when conditions are fi t. I have lowered my soybean population to 130,000 seeds/A. and I have used Copperhead Ag Furrow Cruisers in the past and will be using Yetter Poly Twisters this year. I am implementing the 2x2x2 system again this year and applying 21 gal. of 32% and 2 gal. of ATS. Last year I benefi ted by using 2x2x2 systems versus putting on anhydrous alone in the fall. When I switched to the 2x2x2 system, I saw great results.

KEVIN: I was able to plant in early April this year. I will be using the biological product Start Right 2.0 with a starter fertilizer at planting. This will be the third year of using Start Right on the farm. I have been gradually lowering my soybean planting population from 150,000 seeds/A. to 130,00 seeds/A. and am also using Yetter Poly Twister closing wheels.

Q. How have these PFR Proven strategies helped you succeed on your farm?

CHAD: I have seen better seed-to-soil contact, uniform emergence, and stand establishment on the farm, along with higher yields.

KEVIN: Some of these strategies, like using Start Right, have shown an additional 8 to 15 Bu./A. yield response. Using Poly Twister closing wheels have helped to reduce sidewall compaction.

Q. What is one new thing you are trying in 2020?

ROB: In addition to some of the PFR Proven planting strategies new to us this year, we will be testing fungicide applications at VT on corn.

CHAD: We will be using eXceed Nano Brown Sugar on soybeans.

KEVIN: I will be trying different foliar nutritionals post-emergence on soybeans.

Q. What did you learn in 2019?

ROB: Don’t make any decisions based on 2019.

CHAD: Early on in the season, I told myself to not treat upcoming years like 2019. I didn’t cut corners last year – didn’t cut back on nitrogen. I had acres that drowned out in 2019. It is easy to get wrapped up in emotions, but you still have to stick with the plans and do what is shown to return.

KEVIN: We became the replant champions of the world! Never give up on a crop. We replanted a lot of corn in June that turned out to be an excellent crop. I used Escalate® with Nemasect® last year and will be using Escalate with Nemasect and SDS + this year.

Q. What did you learn from last year’s field shows and Insight Meetings?

ROB: I am most excited about the research from the multi-hybrid, multi-row width planter from PFR. This is where farming is heading in the future.

CHAD: I’m growing Freedom Plus® soybeans, and last year at the Colfax, Iowa, facility, glyphosate and glufosinate were applied on Freedom Plus soybeans — truly an innovative idea to test. PFR is genuinely third party; there is no sales pitch at any of the meetings or pressure to try anything new. It’s nice to know Beck’s is doing research to narrow down what products and practices work best.

KEVIN: I have learned from the population studies, closing wheels studies, and planting dates, and have implemented that research onto my farm. Repeating studies for multiple years in a row shows us the real benefi ts of the products and practices.

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Deatra Gremaux

Deatra Gremaux

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