• Feb 01, 2016

Conquering the “Final Frontier”

Farmer with iPad
For the past 30 years, the seed industry has focused most of its R&D investment on corn and soybeans, and little on wheat. Thanks to our R7® high management* wheat research, performed in recent years, we know wheat crops respond favorably to a more involved management approach. 

When we look at Answer Plot® yield data from the Northern Plains over the past three growing seasons (2013-2015), the CROPLAN® Wheat Advantage with R7® high management considerably outperformed public varieties** by 11.3 bu/A.
Our research is focused on areas such as response to population (RTP), response to nitrogen (RTN), seed treatments and response to fungicides (RTF). 
  • Response to nitrogen and population. We’ve tested CROPLAN® hard red spring wheat varieties at different populations and nitrogen (N) application levels to determine what degree of management earns the best response. We weren’t surprised to see many of the varieties perform well with moderate to high N and higher population. For example, one CROPLAN® hard red spring wheat variety averaged 14.2 bu/A more than a public hard red spring wheat variety under standard management levels across seven different Answer Plot® locations in the Northern Plains last year.   
  • Seed treatments have also contributed to optimizing yield potential in an R7® high management scenario. We recommend all CROPLAN® wheat seed varieties be locally treated with WinField® Warden® Cereals WR II seed treatment, which is designed to help protect young roots from disease and insects. 
  • Testing fungicides. Another component of our R7® high management research has been testing fungicides on all major wheat varieties. While farmers traditionally tank mix a fungicide when applying herbicides and then come back with another fungicide application at flowering, in our Answer Plot® trials we’ve observed noticeable differences in response by variety from fungicides applied at flag leaf.
  • More than nitrogen. We have also found through NutriSolutions® tissue analysis that in addition to nitrogen, wheat also needs adequate levels of potassium, as well as zinc, manganese, boron, copper and sulfur. Products such as WinField® United MAX-IN® Ultra ZMB®, MAX-IN® Copper and MAX-IN® Sulfur are designed to help rectify key micronutrient deficiencies. 
WinField’s focus on wheat research is also helping build the necessary structure for trait development. Several conventional varieties set for release in the next 10 years will assist with maintaining plant health, tolerating disease pressure, resisting insects, and tolerating heat and drought. 

*R7® high management (CROPLAN® products 3361, 3419, 3504, 3530 with high nitrogen and population, treated with Warden® Cereals WR II + Ascend® plant growth regulator + fungicide applied at flag leaf)

**Public varieties (Faller and RB07) at standard management (low nitrogen and population alone)