ORLANDO, Florida — As farmers gathered at Commodity Classic 2019 at the end of February, many questions about the upcoming planting season still needed to be answered.
With 2018’s growing season in the rearview, the impacts of weather and other factors have caused a lot of uncertainty this spring. Many producers are curious when the weather will allow them back in their fields to complete any leftover field work and eventually begin planting.
Another factor farmers are dealing with is poor seed quality, especially with soybeans.
“In today’s market, especially since last fall, Iowa and Illinois farmers experienced very wet harvesting conditions that led to poor seed quality, so next year is going to be a problem for us,” said Dan Scheetz, product manager for Helena Agri-Enterprises based in Collierville, Tennessee. “A treated soybean seed is probably going to be the most important thing to start off the season next year.”
Scheetz said Helena will continue to offer the Seed Shield Max soybean. The seed takes four existing fungicide active ingredients combined with an “industry leading insecticide,” he said.
The product must also fit a farmer’s budget, he said.
“A couple products here have a 5 and even an 8:1 ROI,” Scheetz said. “Those are real numbers. The guy who is stressing over low commodity prices, he wants the one or two things that will make a difference.”
Monty Malone, the soybean variety development lead for BASF, said his company is continuing to offer the LibertyLink series, with the GT27 being the newest trait offered. He said it enables use of glufosinate and glyphosate.
“Two non-selectives on one crop,” Malone said. “This is the first soybean on the market to do that. We are very excited to be able to sell some new varieties. We’ll have 13 for sale in 2019 and we are going to be up to 30 varieties in 2020 of that trait package.”
Corteva was promoting the Enlist E3 soybeans starting a commercial launch this season.
According to a press release, they claim the Enlist E3 soybeans will be the “industry-leading triple-stack herbicide tolerant soybeans.”
Despite being newly available for the 2019 growing season, the Corteva team is bullish about the prospects. Shawna Hubbard, Enlist Herbicide product manager, said they expect to see Enlist E3 soybeans on 10 percent of the acres planted in the U.S. for the 2020 growing season.
“A lot of folks have had a chance to see Enlist technology over the years,” she said. “Whether that’s in the cotton market or Enlist corn, or growing production soybeans as well. For folks who are familiar with the technology, this is a long-awaited and very positive announcement.”
Corteva also discussed N-Serve, a below-ground nitrogen stabilizer, and their new product PinnitMax, which helps urea and UAN applications get into the root zone and prevents volatilization for up to 14 days
“Some of these applications might go out a little earlier than a normal year might be,” said Jeff Moon, market development specialist at Corteva. “With the soils being wet and potential for loss of nitrogen there, we are going to have to do something to make sure the nitrogen is there once the corn plant needs it.”
A newer product on display at Commodity Classic came from Compass Minerals. Rocket Seeds is part of a nutritional seed treatment lineup, including PMZ Dry which combines phosphorus, manganese and zinc and claims to improve early root growth and plant vigor.
“We put lots of research in the greenhouse, the laboratory and out in the field and so our formulations have been proven that the nutrients work in synergy to enhance nutrient uptake,” said Kyle Lilly, senior product manager at Compass Minerals.
He said other benefits they are seeing from the product are singulation and flowability in the planter.
“We can also see thicker stalks, more root depth and more root surface area, and you can see a greener plant which at the end of the day results in more bushels,” Lilly said. “We are seeing above a 75 percent win rate and typically 3 or 4 percent yield increase with a product that’s very low in investment for the farmer.”