• Crop Protection

5 Simple Ways to Increase Profitability Potential This Season

Early-Season Corn

Many people make new year’s resolutions. But have you thought about making some for your operation? January and February are an ideal time to reflect on the crop year just past, assessing the highs and lows of the season and planning what adjustments you can make for this year. Often, these changes can be quite small and still pack a punch as far as helping to make the season exceptional.


Here are some simple modifications to help increase your ROI and yield potential in the coming year.


1. Consider adding a seed treatment.

If you’re a soybean farmer, you’re going to have a weed management component in your farm plan. If you grow corn, you’re going to have a plan for nitrogen management. Why not think beyond the standard?

For example, with soybeans, you can mitigate early-season stresses by applying a quality seed treatment. Due to earlier planting dates, we continue to see an increase in disease pressure from Pythium, Rhizoctonia, Fusarium and Phytopthora, which can be detrimental to the plant’s overall health and ultimately yield. Additionally, a number of farmers are rolling back soybean plant populations, so ensuring that planted seeds emerge is important. A seed treatment like Warden® CX can help guard against fungal diseases as well as insects and help foster emergence.


For corn, Fortivent® Plus seed treatment provides control of Pythium and insects and aids early-season plant growth and root development. It’s included in all CROPLAN® signature hybrids. Make sure your corn and soybean plants get the early-season boost they need with a quality seed treatment.


2. Employ a program approach.

Look at a broad array of data and use that to plan strategic rather than one-off applications. What is the national data saying about a product or a hybrid or a variety? Then, look at more localized data: What does your retailer’s data say? If you’ve tried a product on your own farm, what does your combine data say? Start broad, then narrow things down as closely as you can to your farm to determine if this is the right seed or crop protection product for you.


Also gauge if this product fits into your long-term production goals. For example, if you don’t use a plant growth regulator to help improve root growth and plant vigor early in the season, but have been thinking about doing so, look at the compiled data set to help you make that decision. A product like Ascend® Pro might be a good option.


3. Apply a residual herbicide.

A field may look clean but you can rest assured that it’s not. Applying a residual herbicide at planting can act on successive weed germinations, giving you a 30- to 45-day window to apply herbicide that you wouldn’t normally get. If you do another overlapping residual herbicide with your postemergence application, you get even more time to battle weeds more effectively. Layering herbicide applications allows you to have good coverage against the varying germination times of different weeds.


4. Use an adjuvant and a fungicide.

Every farmer likes to think that 100% of what they apply is getting to its target, but that simply isn’t the case. Off-target movement is a reality, and sometimes what reaches the plant doesn’t get through its natural defense mechanisms. An easy way to increase the efficacy of spray applications is to add InterLock® adjuvant or Optify® adjuvants to the spray tank. If you’re applying herbicides, insecticides, fungicides or nutrients throughout the season, including an adjuvant can help increase your chances of deriving greater ROI and yield potential at harvest.


If farmers haven’t used fungicides in the past, I encourage them to do so. If fungicides have been an important part of farmers’ management plans, I encourage them to apply fungicides on more acres. This is an investment that appears to increase profitability year over year and also contributes to plant health. A fungicide application is an investment in the success of your crop.


5. Get support for good decisions.

Take advantage of a program that gives you confidence in your agronomic and economic choices. The WinField® United Advanced Acre® Rx program is an agronomic prescription service for corn and soybean farmers that can help increase profit potential. The program flexes to help farmers achieve their agronomic and economic goals and ranges from providing season-long plans to recommendations focused on a specific agronomic decision. If the prescription is executed and participating farmers don’t achieve a predetermined yield goal based upon approved actual production history (APH),* WinField United covers the cost of the prescription and select inputs with a service warranty.


Talk with your local trusted advisor to find out more about the Advanced Acre Rx program or any of the other recommendations above. From there, you can adjust 2021 plans and gauge their impact on your ROI at season’s end.


*Agreement is required and conditions, restrictions and service fees apply. Percentage goals for the APH crop yield range from 95–105% for corn and 95–100% for soybeans.


All photos are either the property of WinField United or used with permission.


© 2021 WinField United. Ascend®, Advanced Acre®, CROPLAN®, Fortivent®, InterLock®, Optify®, Warden® and WinField® are trademarks of WinField United.

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