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CropTalk: One PFR Book to Rule Them All

November 2021

Published on Monday, November 1, 2021

Wow! What an early and long harvest window we have been blessed with this year! September began the start of harvest for the Practical Farm Research (PFR)® team after Field Show season wrapped up. For those who attended Beck’s Field Shows in-person or virtually, sneak peeks of our 2021 studies were highlighted throughout the buggy tours and tent talks. Once harvest data rolls in from the PFR sites, the studies’ information is analyzed and assembled in the annual PFR Book. What’s new for the 2021 PFR Book?



PFR continues to uncover new lessons each year on the primary macronutrient fertilizer – nitrogen (N). Discovering answers to the 4Rs of nutrient management – the right source, right rate, right time, and right place – is the basis for testing the different N studies on corn in PFR. Four new N studies in 2021 fall under each of the management categories!

Right Source: Microbial Inoculant Study – Envita™ (Foliar)

Right Rate: Nitrogen Rate Study – 2x2x2

Right Time: Nitrogen Timing Study – Fall vs. Spring Anhydrous Ammonia

Right Place: Nitrogen Placement Study – 2x2x2 vs. Dribble

The quantity of microbes in the environment is vast, with knowledge on them being limited. PFR has recently been testing microbial products like Envita™ and SOURCE™ to learn if we can change our nitrogen use rates by utilizing these products. Applying N in a 2x2x2 application at a rate of 60 units of N has a 7.0 Bu./A. yield advantage over applying 30 units of N 2x2. This is a PFR Proven™ practice. This year, the 60 units of N 2x2x2 treatment was tested with various rates of UAN (sidedressed @ V3). A new timing study was performed to see the effects of applying anhydrous ammonia in the fall versus the spring. Lastly, a dribble application of UAN was put to the test against a 2x2x2 application. The purpose of the 2x2x2 vs. Dribble Study is to compare what impacts corn yields and profitability more: applying N in the UAN form on top of the soil or in the soil.




Due to consumer demands and market premiums, there is an expanded interest in growing organic crops. Because of this, PFR is putting in the legwork to help the Great Harvest Organics (GHO) customers bring added profitability to their farms. This year, two new organic studies were conducted on corn – the ‘Corn Borer – Insecticide Study’ and the ‘Weed Suppression/Tillage Study.’’ Three new studies were completed on organic soybeans. In addition to the latest organic studies, the Colfax, IA, PFR location has a new area dedicated to organic cropping systems research. The addition of this area has led to creating a new organics section in the 2021 PFR Book. For more information on Great Harvest Organics, visit BecksHybrids.comProducts/Great-Harvest-Organics

Silage is another area of interest from growers in the broadened Beck’s sales territory. Data from our silage studies will be another new section in the 2021 PFR Book. The Wisconsin cooperator location executed five new corn silage studies:

1. Population Study

2. Plant Growth Regulator Study

3. Microbial Activation Study SOURCE™ Corn

4. Fungicide Study – Foliar

5. Harvest Height Study

Product information for Beck’s silage offerings can be viewed at beckshybrids. com/Products/Silage



Out of the 64 corn trials and 53 soybean trials that were implemented at nine locations in 2021, how does a farmer decide what new management practices to implement on his/her farm? PFR Proven™ products and practices are a solid foundation of where to start looking. For a product or practice to earn the PFR Proven title, there is a requirement of at least three testing years at multiple locations. During those three years, the product/practice must provide a positive yield gain each year and average a positive return on investment over the three-year period. The 2021 PFR Book will again contain the PFR Proven section, with new products and practices added that earn the title this year!

In the farming industry, a blanket prescription doesn’t exist for managing every field on every farm. Because of the variability that exists in fields and the environment, the PFR team works hard each year to test new biological, chemical, and cultural products and practices, as well as pieces of equipment. Stay tuned for the rest of this year’s data in the 2021 PFR Book. Happy harvest!

From pre-plant to post-harvest, PFR has Proven products all year long! To view the full PFR Proven products and practices information, visit PFR/PFR-Proven



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Author: Deatra Gremaux

Categories: CropTalk, 2021


Deatra Gremaux

Deatra Gremaux

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