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Select Genetics, Traits For the Right Seed on the Right Acre


Pioneer tests products in local regions to provide growers with specific information

DES MOINES, Iowa. – When it comes to selecting seed varieties for a particular field, selecting the best genetics for particular environments can have a tremendous impact on profitability. Growers can improve their productivity and profitability by selecting hybrids or varieties that have the right genetics and traits for every acre, according to experts from Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business.

It’s important to know how the seed’s genetics respond to the local environment, the true value of seed traits and the results of localized seed testing. You want to make sure you’ve selected a seed product with both agronomic and technology traits that fit each field.

Growers also should choose the best planting time, seed treatments and foliar fungicides to get the most out of every product on every acre.

“The most important thing for growers is to know the products,” says Chris Doud, Pioneer agronomist covering northwest Iowa. “Every hybrid and variety has strengths, but growers, along with their seed sales professional, need to decide if the strengths are right for their individual operations and if the weaknesses can be properly managed by matching information on the product profile sheets with their own management practices.”

“Growers need to evaluate how the product has done in their area,” says Brent Wilson, Pioneer technical services manager. “Pioneer focuses on localized testing over several years to help growers select the right product for the right acre.”

When choosing products with insect protection, evaluate the pest pressures present in specific locations.

“Sometimes triple-stack products aren’t the best choice for growers,” Doud says. “If a particular insect pressure isn’t at a level that could potentially lower yield for that area, it may not be in the farmer’s best interest to select that specific trait. Growers should choose the proper traits to protect themselves from potential yield loss. The goal should be to match genetics to the correct environment and manage risks by including key traits to provide added insurance"

Pioneer sales professionals can help determine which product is best for individual growers’ operations. Localized information and help from sales reps are two services Pioneer provides to growers to assist them in making the best and most profitable decisions.

After choosing the right product for the right acre by selecting the best genetics and traits, protect the investment through sound management practices.

“It is important to plant at the optimum planting rate, especially in today’s volatile market and agricultural economy,” Doud says. “The ultimate goal of any farming operation is to identify management practices that impose minimal cost while generating positive yield results. Planting rate is one such area that can have a tremendous impact on optimum yield.”

Pioneer has done extensive studies on the optimum planting rates for each hybrid on both the agronomic and economic levels. The latter is an evaluation based on commodity prices. Growers can get planting rate recommendations on each hybrid from their sales professional.

Soybean seed treatments also help ensure investment protection.

“There has been a rapid adoption of seed treatment use in soybeans in recent years for protection against yield-robbing pests that can minimize the genetic potential of the products growers plant each season,” Doud says. “Understanding the threat of such damaging pests in each environment helps growers select the right seed treatment or whether to use one.”

Foliar fungicide applications also can be beneficial for both corn and soybeans. Much like seed treatments on soybeans, fungicide applications are becoming more popular with growers. These applications protect against yield-robbing diseases that can minimize the genetic potential of products.

“2008 was a challenging growing season,” Wilson says. “The year ended better than expected for yield in many areas.”

Every year presents challenges growers must face. For example, flooding in parts of the U.S. made the growing season difficult for some growers. While growers can’t control the weather, one way to help mitigate risks faced every year is to select and plant the right product for the right acre.


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