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From the Fields: NK Planting Report, Part 3

Iowa Agronomist Dave Hallberg discusses planting progress, Tar Spot and NK “heavy hitters”


Iowa planting started smoothly, but periods of rainfall and cold weather brought it to a screeching, 10-day halt in late April. Dave Hallberg, NK Seeds agronomist, says the stop-and-go planting picked back up at a “hot and furious” pace the first week in May — much earlier than last season. He sat down with The Amplifier to share planting observations and products to watch for the season ahead.

Stop-And-Go Corn Planting

Hallberg Headshot

“Throughout April, I received regular calls from farmers and seed dealers wondering if the time was right to start planting corn,” Dave recalls. “We don’t want corn seedlings to imbibe that cold water, so when the weather turned cold in April, many farmers switched over and planted soybeans before going back to corn. Our goal is to have every corn plant come up at the same time and at the same size and growth rate, because if it’s not consistent we lose yield.”

With most of the corn and soybean acres finally planted throughout his northern Iowa territory (north of Interstate 80), Dave is looking forward to watching how NK® products perform this growing season. He has his eye on two NK hybrids in particular: NK0007 and NK1188. “These are two heavy hitters for Iowa corn growers,” he says. “Their versatility and consistency make them a hit because they can take stress, but they can also stretch out and hit top-end yields in a year with high yield potential. They’re really ‘go-anywhere’ products.”

 NK0007-AA brand   

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Offers excellent yield potential with strong roots and stalks. It features outstanding emergence for an early planting option along with leading drought tolerance powered by Artesian® technology. Its semi-determinate ear type and strong standability support higher populations for maximum yield potential.

 NK1188-AA brand   

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Provides consistent yield potential and agronomics across environments, on the fuller-season side. With this hybrid's attractive plant and ear placement, farmers will note its improved test weight and grain quality and its dependable drought tolerance.

A Tremendous Variety of Soybeans

Soybean farmers tend to be very loyal to their trait platform, and Dave says that no matter which platform farmers prefer, they’ll find plenty of options in the NK soybean portfolio.

“One thing that makes NK unique is our very robust portfolios for both Enlist E3® and XtendFlex® soybean varieties,” says Dave. “We have a tremendous lineup for both, with some great go-to options as well as some exciting new products for 2024.”

Dave says that NK18-J7E3 brand and NK22-C4E3 brand are both popular Enlist E3 varieties for Iowa farmers. He’ll also have his eyes on two new products for 2024, NK26-M6E3 brand and NK28-B9E3S brand, in demonstration plots this year.

 NK18-J7E3 brand   

Features strong genetics for the Enlist E3® soybeans trait platform. With its dependable drought tolerance and solid standability with very good tolerance to Soybean White Mold, it performs well across yield environments, including highly productive acres.

 NK22-C4E3 brand   

Pairs strong yield potential with broad adaptation. It performs well at any yield level and across all soil types, and it features the Rps1c gene for resistance to Phytophthora Root Rot with strong field tolerance. It’s recommended for high-pH acres.

 NK26-M6E3 brand   

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A broadly adapted variety that offers great yield potential on any acre. It features outstanding performance on drought-stressed and highly productive acres alike and handles variable and poorly drained soils with solid Phytophthora field tolerance.

 NK28-B9E3S brand   

Features breakout genetics that provide standability and performance. This product is well suited to variable soils, including fine-textured and poorly drained, and it maintains its height in drought-prone conditions. While it’s consistent across all yield levels, it performs best in the East.

enlist e3 soybeans

Farmers who prefer the XtendFlex® trait platform also have many options to consider. Dave recommends NK17-M2XF, along with NK21-H4XF, NK25-C9XF and NK27-A7XF, which he says are all “heavy hitters” for later maturity dates.

 NK17-M2XF brand   

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Has trusted genetics that bring excellent yield potential for the maturity. The medium-tall plant type with great standabilty shows strong performance across yield environments and has very good tolerance to Sudden Death Syndrome.

 NK21-H4XF brand   

Pairs exceptional yield potential with great defensive traits. Widely adapted while thriving on poorly drained soils, this variety offers very good protection against Phytophthora Root Rot, Sudden Death Syndrome and Iron Deficiency Chlorosis for strong performance moving south of zone.

 NK25-C9XF brand   

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Features excellent performance with great Sudden Death Syndrome protection. This versatile variety performs well north and south of zone. It’s a sound option for Soybean Cyst Nematode and Iron Deficiency Chlorosis acres.

 NK27-A7XF brand   

Combines exciting genetics with top-end yield potential. Widely adapted with outstanding Sudden Death Syndrome tolerance, it provides strong Phytophthora Root Rot field tolerance with the Rps1c gene and features very good standability for productive acres.

Xtendflex soybeans

Looking Ahead This Season

tar spot closeup

No matter where they farm or what they plant, farmers will be keeping an eye on the forecast this season. They’ll also be scouting for signs of pests and disease. Dave says that Tar Spot in particular is a challenge that many Iowa farmers have experience combating.

“The eastern half of my territory is especially concerned with Tar Spot, because they dealt with the issues several years ago and it cost them a lot of yield to the tune of 10 to 60 bushels per acre, depending on their management style and hybrid selection,” Dave recalls. “A little bit of Tar Spot showed up in the western half of my territory late last year, but since it wasn’t enough to affect yields, farmers here are less concerned with it than their counterparts to the east where it was devastating.”

No matter what the 2023 growing season brings, Dave and the rest of the NK team will be there to support farmers in Iowa and across the country. “I’m looking forward to a great season, and I hope that producers have another successful year with NK Seeds,” he says.

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