What Growers Can Do to Keep USDA Crop Ratings at 30-Year High
Correlation Between Higher Ratings and Commodity Prices
“This is an exciting time for corn and soybean growers because of the crop ratings we’re seeing this year,” says Lynn Sandlin, Syngenta manager of Market Insights. “However, we all know if those numbers hold, it could mean commodity prices take a hit.”
With that in mind, growers regularly adapt to fluctuations in the market by trimming inputs. But Sandlin asks, “What would it look like if rather than cutting inputs to brace for a drop, they chose better tools to help drive their yield to the next level?”
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Ultimately, no one knows where crop ratings or commodity prices will land by the time combines start to roll, but growers can invest in the right inputs at the right time to give their crops the best chance to reach their full yield potential and maximize profit potential.
Timing Is Everything
While some reports have crops two to three weeks ahead of normal schedule and suggest pollination could happen as early as July 4, some areas have ground to make up. Weather patterns will inevitably change and disease will likely develop. Regardless of those factors, knowing the best time to apply key inputs like Trivapro® fungicide and Endigo® ZC insecticide can make a noticeable difference in yield.
Syngenta technical fungicide product lead, Eric Tedford, Ph.D., has spent a lot of time evaluating fungicide and insecticide timing in field trials across the U.S. and has seen significant differences in plant health and yield based on timing. “In our corn trials, we have seen the biggest yield response—an average increase of 18.5 bushels per acre— when Trivapro is applied at tasseling/R1 ,” he says. “That timing allows plants to better use water and withstand environmental stress because of the plant-health benefits, and it provides disease protection through harvest.”
For soybeans, the data has shown an increased benefit when combining Trivapro and Endigo ZC at R3 growth stage. “The nice thing about the R3 timing for Trivapro, which is applied to control frogeye leaf spot and Septoria brown spot, is that it typically falls right when aphids and bean leaf beetles begin to emerge as a threat,” Tedford says. “Combining that R3 fungicide treatment with Endigo ZC saves growers a pass across the field and delivers long-lasting disease control, plant-health benefits and insect control to make it count at the elevator.”
Hard-Working Inputs Reduce Risk
As the season continues to unfold, numerous factors will influence crop ratings. Even though those factors could drastically change, Tedford notes that using proven technologies like Trivapro and Endigo ZC will be key to offsetting disease, insects and stress-related variables that negatively impact yield.
“Making the investment and using these tools at the right time will help drive the best plant health and yield outcome for 2018,” he says.
1Based on 138 non-replicated trials in the U.S. in 2016 and 2017.
*Performance assessments are based upon results or analysis of public information, field observations and/or internal Syngenta evaluations. Trials reflect treatment rates commonly recommended in the marketplace.