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PFR Report

New PFR Studies for 2018

Published on Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Each year the Beck’s Practical Farm Research (PFR)® program aims to test 1) products and practices on their way to becoming PFR Proven, 2) new technologies just introduced to the marketplace 3) cost effective management practices and 4) timely topics that farmers are considering on their operations.

While we continue to learn each year about products or practices that work, we want to learn if there is a way to best implement these products and practices. For example, we have tested various planting depths in both corn and soybeans. We have observed 2.0 inches to be ideal in corn and 1.5 inches in soybeans across multiple years and locations. In both of these studies, we commonly get the question of how much this varies with different planting dates. In 2018 we aim to answer this by testing the combination of planting depth by planting date in both corn and soybeans.

Additionally, we have observed positive yield increases in corn with the use of various sugar products in-furrow. However, not every PFR site observes a yield advantage in a given year. Is there a chance that planting date impacts whether we observe a positive yield impact by applying sugar in-furrow? With sugar in-furrow serving as a food source for the existing microbial population, there is the potential that a later planting date can result in more of a benefit from the use of sugar. We’ve added a Sugar In-Furrow study for 2018 that compares multiple planting dates.

We also have studies in 2018 that include fungicide timing and nutrient placement. We know both fungicide applications and foliar nutrition can lead to increased yields with increased return on investment. Is there a way to promote these yields even further? In the case of fungicide application, can we make the fungicide application more likely to work on disease control and plant health by applying in the morning? In the case of nutrient placement, can we increase the uptake of nutrients by placing that foliar application in the canopy? If we place that nutrition on the underside of the leaf where the majority of stomata are located, can we increase the plant’s nutritional uptake?

In addition to honing in on managing products and practices we currently know work, we also have some studies that are new in concept and in testing. In both corn and soybeans, we are testing silicon in 2018. Silicon is known to impact the rigidity of cell structure and has even shown evidence of minimizing the impact of stress on crops when applied in season. A water conditioning study will also be added to the line-up in 2018. The goal of this study is to determine how much the source of water used in a foliar application can help or hinder the uptake of foliar applied nutrition.

Lastly but certainly not least, we have designated a number of studies in 2018 as a soybean after soybean cropping system. With current commodity prices, we know that many are considering doing more acres in this system. Will this system require more fungicide applications, more insecticides, or do seed treatments benefit even more here? Stay tuned for observations and results this fall from our 2018 PFR studies!

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Author: Alex Knight

Categories: PFR, PFR Reports

Tags: PFR, PFR Report, PFR Studies

Alex Knight

Alex Knight

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