Plant Stand assessment – improved accuracy with measuring wheel.

If you have ever been frustrated trying to get an accurate plant population for an emergence issue using 1/1000th of an acre count there is a better method. For the last few years I have been using the measuring wheel method and have more confidence in my plant stands. The benefits of using this method are reduced ‘cherry picking’ of visually good or bad areas of the field, speed of count and improved accuracy of the count.

How does it work?

To use this method of population counts you push the measuring wheel and count 150 plants (I count by two’s, if you are really good you can count by three’s). When you reach a count of 150 plants, record the distance traveled in feet. Sorry no metric here record the measurement in feet. Repeat the count/measure three or four more times in the field or affected area. Average the measurement and convert using the following table by dividing the average number of feet for 150 plant count into the conversion factor. Example if I averaged 100 feet in a 30 inch row spacing the population would be 26,613 plants per acre (ppa) (2,613,600 divided by 100 feet = 26,136 ppa).

Also, assess non-emerged seedlings using the checklist in the Replant corn – How to decide article, by recording the population and the emergence issues we can make a good agronomic decisions for this year and future years.


Replant corn – How to decide.

This year we had some fields that were planted early and then went thorugh a very wet, cold period and now the emergence is less than desirable in some areas of the field. Do I replant the poor sections, or the whole field (with the price of corn this would be a very costly option), do I leave it alone, these are all very good questions.

Corn replant decisions are difficult. The following table can be utilized as a guideline when assessing yield potential at various planting dates and populations. In general it doesn’t pay to replant corn where populations of healthy plants are greater than 18,000 plants per acre

First we need to establish the population that has emerged. You can do this by counting the number of plants in 1/1000 of an acre (see chart). Do this a number of times in the field. Also, assess the cause of reduced emergence using the following checklist.

 Rotted seed or seedlings
 Sprout twisted or leaves expanded underground
 Seeds hollowed out (insect damage)
 Check seed intactness (firmness)
 If seed is watery or “yellowy pus” it is not going to emerge
 Do not worry about crooks or turns of the coleoptile (shoot) as it may be responding to the seed orientation (corn seed does have an up and down side); also, cold soil will often disorient coleoptile growth.

As this is a very difficult decision please contact your NK field representative or seed dealer if you have any questions.

It’s time to switch

I have finally pulled the trigger and it is time to switch in all the Ontario corn growing area’s except maybe Essex County to a hybrid that is 100 – 150 CHU less than your normal maturity that you would plant. With the recent wet weather please work with your corn supplier to get the required seed to your farm. Be aware as this may take a couple of days as we are moving seed all over Quebec and Ontario to make sure you have the best seed option for your farm and situation.

Is it time to drop corn and switch to soybeans? This depends on each individual situation but you need to think about the following:
1) Do I have enough corn at 75% of expected yield to meet your delivery contracts this fall?
2) Do you need the production for feed?
3) Is the current fall delivery price worth the risk of reduced yields?
4) Herbicide or fertilizer is applied for Corn?
5) Do not want to risk changing my rotation?

Do you have other reasons to continue to plant corn, please include in the comments.

Agrisure Viptera Experience

I had a chance to sit down with Grant Ozipko, Agrisure Trait Marketing Manager to discuss the results of Agrisure Viptera in the US and the new traits from Syngenta Seeds. Youtube link
A number of US growers had a chance to grow and see Agrisure Viptera 3111 in 2010 through Agrisure Experience Program. This gave them firsthand experience with the control of Agrisure Viptera on pests such as corn earworm, western bean cutworm and black cutworm on their farm. They were so impressed many of them came back this year and purchased hybrids with Agrisure Viptera trait for the 2011 growing season.
Why should I grow Agrisure Viptera? Peace of mind that you have a product that provides more control of more insects than any other product on the market. What can we expect for control and yield results? Syngenta testing has shown Agrisure Viptera had a yield advantage of over nine bushel per acre across all trials in 2010 when compared to smartstax products.

Agrisure Viptera will be the foundation of refuge reduction products from Syngenta. For Canada registration is expected for a refuge reduction product in 2012. It will be called Agrisure 3220 which gives two modes of action against broad lepidopteran insects and two modes of action against corn borer. It is this product that will allow reduced refuge and ultimately a refuge-in-a-bag product (when approved).

What is in the Agrisure pipeline? The pipeline has a full line of refuge reduction trait stacks including that can be used in rootworm areas. Agrisure Artesian is Syngenta water optimization platform that uses multiple traits to provide hybrids a chance to manage drought throughout the season.

Thanks Grant for your time.

Not all Genes for Western Bean Cutworm the same

We have seen the same results as described in the article attached. Under significant ear-feeding insect pressure, hybrids containing the Agrisure Viptera 3111 trait stack averaged 7.3 bu/ac better than hybrids with the Agrisure® 3000GT triple stack. In fact, hybrids with the Agrisure Viptera 3111 stack outperformed their Agrisure 3000GT stack counterparts in all geographies and insect pressures, delivering a 4.4 bu/ac yield advantage.
“Our 2010 trials included a range of geographies and a range of pest pressures,” says Bruce Battles, head, Agronomy Marketing with Syngenta. “We saw clean ears from the Agrisure Viptera trait in all of them, but of course the difference was most pronounced in plots that experienced heavier pressure. In those instances, there was no question which trait package was delivering better control.”

As compared to other competitive traits, the products with the Agrisure Viptera 3111 stack out yielded Pioneer® brand hybrids by an average of 9.7 bu/ac. The trials also demonstrated a 9 bu/ac yield advantage versus competitive DeKalb® brand Genuity™ SmartStax™ offerings, and 12 bu/ac over competitive DeKalb hybrids with the VT Triple PRO™ trait stack.
C.O.R.N. newsletter article – Western Bean Cutworm Myth #4: All transgenic corn varieties are effective against western bean cutworm

1 Syngenta strip trial with hybrids of similar RMs, adjusted for moisture to +/- 3.

© Copyright 2011 Syngenta Seeds Canada, Inc., Minneapolis, MN, 55440. Agrisure®, Agrisure Viptera™, NK® , and the Syngenta logo are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company. Herculex® is a trademark of Dow AgroSciences, LLC. Genuity®,SmartStax™, DEKALB®, and VT Triple PRO™ are trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC. Pioneer® is a registered trademark of Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

Don’t leave money on the table.

Get your NK corn and soybean order (Canada only) and pay today and recieve 16%. See your NK dealer today.

Picking the right hybrid for next year?

Rushing to put an order in to get the best deal is now the norm for the corn seed industry. So how do i make a decision when I have either just got my crop off the field or I am in the middle of harvest. It is difficult. This is where you really need to enlist the help of your corn dealer and company rep. Genetics is the most important production management decision you make every year. Why do we rush it? We do not know exactly what field we are putting corn into for sure yet. So how do we get this right to make the most money for your farming operation?
1) View the early order and pay as a way of securing seed supply for a number of acres. As an example – I am going to grow 400 acres of NK corn and 600 acres of NK soybeans (RR2Y) and the other acres I am going to grow a competitor. Then as a grower let your seed rep put the best package together for your farm for today based on what he knows. This allows you time to modify your order and put the correct genetics on field(s) they are adapted as you do your crop planning during the winter months. Orders can be adjusted if seed is available to allow you to grow your best crop ever.
2) Every year is different and this fall does not predict the results you will get next year. You need to use multi-year, multi-site data and do not fall into chasing the ‘hot hybrid’.
3) Select a package of diverse genetics and agronomic traits. You need high yield products to maximize your total overall yield average, plus average yield hybrids that have above average late season standability to maximize your harvest window, specialty (or niche) hybrids that excel on those special fields or conditions (corn on corn, drought soil, low productivity soil) to maintain yield in tough environmental conditions and you need economical products that yield in your operation to lower your overall cost of production.
4) Select genetically diverse products to spread risk. This is a ‘do not put all your eggs in one basket’ approach to manage the unknown growing environment for next year.
5) Remember you are selecting hybrids for next year‘s growing season not this year’s growing season. Often we get caught up in this year’s results rather than trying to get the best hybrid mix for what next year will bring. Anyone can predict the past; it takes skill and work to manage the future.

Every year is different. There is no perfect hybrid. Take you time in one of the most important decsion you make.

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