• Agronomic Insights

5 Insights From the 2022 Answer Plot® Program

WinField United Answer Plot field sign next to a corn field.
Planning for the 2023 season is in full swing, so it’s an ideal time to connect with your trusted advisor to review performance data from 2022. Your WinField United retailer can share the latest insights from Answer Plot® trials to help you understand which products and management practices work best for your acres. Here are five key findings from our seed and crop protection trials in 2022.
1. New Crop Genetics Are Drought-Resilient   
Drought was impactful on the growing season this year, particularly for farmers in the Western U.S. We haven’t seen the widespread moisture stress we saw this season since 2012. The stressful conditions allowed us to evaluate the low-end yield capability in newer genetics, which has been impossible to do on a large scale in recent years. Compared to the products we tested under these conditions a decade ago, we saw that the newer genetics had much better stress tolerance and yield potential under drought conditions. The stressful environment allowed us to better characterize hybrids based on their drought tolerance.
2. Certain Hybrids Perform Best On Alkaline Soils
In 2022, we added a new Answer Plot location in Brady, Nebraska, to test seed performance on high pH soils. We know that alkaline soils are challenging for crop production, and advisors typically rely on a seed product’s genetic background when making placement recommendations. The data from our high pH trials provide more factual knowledge to help classify which hybrids perform best on alkaline soils. This information will empower growers to make more reliable seed decisions on their most challenging acres.      
3. There Are Synergies Between Nitrogen Rates and Fungicide Timings
This was our second year of a new trial setup that evaluated the synergistic effects of nitrogen rates and fungicide timings at a hybrid-specific level. In the past, we’ve studied a hybrid’s response-to fungicide and nitrogen, but our new trials incorporate both inputs into one study to characterize how fertility and disease management practices work together to influence yield potential. Taking a more holistic look at how specific management practices influence seed performance can help farmers fine-tune their input decisions to improve ROI potential. Your WinField United retailer can provide more information on specific trial results and offer recommendations for in-season management.
4. Timing Matters for Tar Spot Management
Tar spot continues to expand its footprint and can devastate a crop’s yield potential. The 2022 Answer Plot program included several trials focusing on optimizing tar spot management in high-pressure areas. Early data analysis of trial results reveals that fungicide timing is critical in reducing disease progression and limiting yield losses. The Answer Plot data shows that a two-pass fungicide program can offer better crop protection in high disease pressure situations than a single application. The takeaway from this data is to scout fields early and often for tar spot and be prepared to apply an effective fungicide at the first sign of disease.
5. Biologicals Can Enhance Yield Potential
Biologicals are gaining more interest from farmers who want to enhance their crop’s stress tolerance and yield potential. We’re using the Answer Plot program to study how biologicals, including the Ascend® plant growth regulator product lineup, support plant growth and development to understand when they are most profitable. The data collected in 2022 shows that these products can help add yield potential, especially in highly productive fields with few agronomic limitations.
Leverage Answer Plot Data for Planning
WinField United has collected data from the Answer Plots for more than 20 years. Over that time, we’ve continued to expand and refine our trial and data management capabilities to keep pace with farmers’ evolving needs. Our replicated trials and rigorous data analysis help reduce variability to deliver more scientifically sound insights. The Answer Plot program is more than a yield trial: It includes a systems approach to crop production that enables more precise seed placement and management.
As you prepare for the 2023 season, your WinField United retailer can share historical data from the Answer Plot program to help you position the best seed products for every acre. Once you’ve made seed choices, you can use response-to scores for fungicide, nitrogen and plant population to develop a prescriptive in-season management plan.
You want to be nimble and ready to respond to weather challenges and other biological stresses your crop faces. While the Answer Plot data is instrumental in developing an initial crop production strategy, be sure to build flexibility in your plan for in-season curveballs. Your WinField United retailer can help you create a field-by-field program to maximize your success in 2023.
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© 2023 WinField United. Important: Before use always read and follow label instructions. Crop performance is dependent on several factors many of which are beyond the control of WinField United, including without limitation, soil type, pest pressures, agronomic practices and weather conditions. Growers are encouraged to consider data from multiple locations, over multiple years and to be mindful of how such agronomic conditions could impact results. Answer Plot, Ascend and WinField are trademarks of WinField United. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.