• Research and Development

The Next Big Thing For Plant Growth Regulators

Early-season corn.
Growing high-yielding corn doesn’t happen by chance. It requires agronomic management and investment, which can be risky when you can’t control what Mother Nature throws at you. Using all the tools in your toolbox like in-furrow plant growth regulators can help set your corn up for season-long success.
For years, our Ascend® PGR products have been helping growers take their yields to the next level. Now, we’re upping the ante with a redesigned formula specifically optimized for early-season corn.
Introducing Ascend PGR, a more efficient and effective way to help your corn crop grow, develop and withstand unexpected conditions.
Why Apply A PGR?
If you’re reading this with a skeptical eyebrow raised, we don’t blame you. The PGR and biological market is overwhelming. There are a lot of products out there that often aren’t backed by testing or education so performance can be unreliable. Before we dive into the science and research behind Ascend2, let’s level set on what a PGR is and why you should even consider applying one in the first place.
PGR is a broad term for any product that uses plant hormones to generate a plant response. PGRs can initiate many responses in plants, from more vigorous root growth and stem elongation to plant senescence. Since not all products provide the same results, it’s important to know a product’s active ingredients and understand how they work.  
The three primary active ingredients that support plant growth are auxin, gibberellins and cytokinins. Auxin is a key regulator of plant growth and development that causes biological responses like root and stem growth. Gibberellins regulate key processes in the plant that’s used to stimulate cell division and elongation, break dormancy and speed up seed germination. Cytokinins also stimulate cell division.
PGR products that contain these growth-supporting hormones can have many positive impacts on a crop. They can help improve plant health, stimulate more efficient growth and development, and help plants thrive in unexpected conditions. Using a PGR prior to emergence can help give seeds an extra boost and a strong start at a time when soil and environmental conditions may not be favorable.  
What Is Ascend2 PGR?
As mentioned earlier, Ascend2 PGR is an optimized formulation specifically designed to support early-season corn, but I don’t expect you to simply take our word for it. We spent nearly a decade researching optimal PGR ratios and testing Ascend2 in the field through Answer Plot® trials.
What’s unique about Ascend2 is its auxin-dominant, three-way formulation. That means it contains all three of those growth-supporting PGRs mentioned previously. However, this patent-protected formulation contains approximately three times the amount of auxin and two times the gibberellic acid compared to previous Ascend formulations.
What’s the big deal about this auxin-dominant ratio you might ask? It adds a level of consistency to Ascend’s known performance. According to data from 67 Answer Plot trials over the last four years, Ascend2 proved to have a positive yield impact of 7.5 bu./A in corn in 41 of those locations. The overall average yield response to Ascend2 stands at 3 b.u/A with a p-value of 0.004 at 95% confidence.*
We didn’t just throw more active ingredients in the jug and call it good, though. It’s important to remember that more active ingredient does not always mean a better plant response when applying PGRs. In fact, PGRs can certainly have detrimental effects when used at levels that are too high and no effect at levels that are too low. Our years of testing led us to the optimal formula for Ascend2 that will deliver the right amount of PGRs at the right time for in-furrow corn.
How To Use Ascend2 PGR
Ascend2 can be used in a foliar application, but we recommend using it in-furrow for best results. Add it to the tank with your balanced starter fertilizer to give your corn a strong start to the season. Below, you can see the difference in emergence between starter fertilizer alone and starter fertilizer plus Ascend2.

Early-season comparison of corn that received starter fertilizer only and corn that received starter fertilizer plus Ascend2 plant growth regulator.For more information or to order new Ascend2 PGR, contact your local WinField United retailer.
*Compared to starter fertilizer alone. Based on 67 trials across Answer Plot® locations in 15 states from 2017 to 2021.
All photos are either the property of WinField United or used with permission.

© 2022 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. Ascend, Ascend2, Answer Plot and WinField are trademarks of WinField United. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.