Seed treatments key to high yields

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					                                                                                                                  November 2009 / 23

Crop Production

Seed treatments key to high yields
By TOM J. BECHMAN                                                                        250 and Poncho 1250. For the first time,                 Three of the 10 will go far beyond yield,
                                                                                         Avicta Complete Corn will be available on               measuring stalk diameter and a whole

        ROP yields will double by 2030                                                   an as-ordered basis. It protects against                host of parameters that should provide
        only if a whole series of ad-                                                    nematodes in corn, Messman observes.                    a better picture of how corn reacts in
        vances click into place, much                                                                                                            twin rows.
like the pieces of a puzzle. Seed compa-     ny’s state-of-the-art seed treatment that   Learn about twin-row corn                                  Not everyone is quick to jump on the
nies are banking on seed treatments to       includes an insecticide, fungicide and      Great Plains is serious about the poten-                twin-row bandwagon, however. Kinze
be one piece of the puzzle. While only       other amendments.                           tial for success of twin-row corn. The                  says its own survey indicated 85% of
about one-third of all soybean seed was         Representatives       say     original   company emphasized it during a press                    corn producers are still in 30-inch rows.
treated in ’09, expect that number to        Roundup Ready varieties offered by          conference at the Farm Progress Show                    They’re following twin rows on the
rise dramatically.                           Monsanto will not be treated, unless the    earlier this fall and recently introduced               radar screen, but don’t see enough in-
   Pioneer recently announced its            customer orders treatment.                  a Web site devoted exclusively to twin-                 terest yet to keep a twin-row planter in
Pioneer Premium Seed Treatment of-                                                       row corn. Find it at                  their lineup.
fering for 2010. Pioneer is now offering     Corn planting moves earlier                 It’s designed as an easy-to-use site,
fungicide and fungicide-insecticide          Here’s one reason Pioneer is also em-       which could be a one-stop source for                    Battery-powered welder
treatments for soybean seed from the         phasizing and looking for improved          those wanting to learn about twin-row                   Someone must provide tools to maintain
conditioning plant. Growers can get          seed treatments for corn. Mick              planting. You’ll find videos, links to in-               equipment that would be needed for
seed treated with Gaucho insecticide,        Messman, senior marketing manager for       dependent research results, reports and                 narrow rows. Hobart Welding Products
Trilex fungicide and/or Alegiance fun-       North American seed treatment, says a       articles, and much more.                                just unveiled the Trek 180 battery-pow-
gicide. Pioneer’s expanded emphasis          recent Pioneer survey revealed the ma-                                                              ered MIG welder. It can operate off its
on seed treatments in 2010 also means        jority of corn acres are planted nearly     Row-spacing piece                                       own self-contained battery or 115-volt
growers can add inoculants, signal mol-      10 days earlier than just a decade ago.     Great Plains isn’t the only company                     power. The 52-pound portable unit can
ecules and other amendments closer to        Earlier planting means more chances         that thinks new row spacing may be an-                  weld 24-gauge up to ¹⁄₄-inch mild steel. It
planting to meet localized needs.            for weather to create obstacles to plant    other piece in the puzzle to increasing                 can be recharged from inside a vehicle
   Monsanto will continue offering           emergence, Messman says.                    yields. According to a university source,               using an automotive power inverter.
Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield vari-             Pioneer’s offering of seed treatments    Monsanto helped sponsor testing of                      These traits make it ideal for repairs in
eties only with Acceleron, the compa-        on corn in 2010 include Cruiser Extreme     twin rows at 10 universities this season.               the field.

Time for assessing
                                                                                                           Normal ranges of silage fermentation analyses
                                                                                                                                        Legume silage                Grass silage   Corn silage
                                                                                          Moisture:                          65% +        50% - 65%      < 50%          < 70%       60% - 65%

quality of silage                                                                         pH
                                                                                          Lactic acid (% of DM)
                                                                                          Acetic acid (% of DM)
                                                                                                                            4.0 - 4.3
                                                                                                                            1.0 - 3.0
                                                                                                                                           4.3 - 4.7
                                                                                                                                           0.5 - 2.5
                                                                                                                                                        4.7 - 5.0
                                                                                                                                                        0.5 - 2.0
                                                                                                                                                                       4.3 - 4.7
                                                                                                                                                                        6 - 10
                                                                                                                                                                       1.0 - 3.0
                                                                                                                                                                                     3.8 - 4.2
                                                                                                                                                                                      5 - 10
                                                                                                                                                                                     1.0 - 3.0
                                                                                          Propionic acid (% of DM)            <0.5          <0.25         <0.1           <0.1          <0.1
               A month or more after
               silage or baleage is made,
                                                 Focus on Forages                         Butyric acid (% of DM)
                                                                                          Ethanol (% of DM)
                                                                                          Ammonia-CP (% of CP)                <15            <12          <10            <12            <8
               you should examine it to      fermentation by doing a fermenta-
               determine its quality and     tion analysis, available at many forage      Lactic acid (% of total acids)      >60            >70          >70            >60           >70
               to see what you will be       testing laboratories. These analyses
               feeding. Use this assess-     should always be used in conjunction        forage, but more rapid heating and mold                    ■ restricted fermentation due to
ment to identify things you could do         with standard chemical analyses (i.e.       growth will occur when the silage is ex-                cold weather
better next time.                            neutral detergent fiber, crude protein,      posed to air at feeding because less acid                  ■ clostridial fermentations with high
    Color should be light to medium          rumen-degradable protein/rumen-unde-        is available to inhibit microbial growth.               butyric acid production
brown for alfalfa, grass and corn silage.    gradable protein, NDF digestion, etc.) to       Lactic acid is the primary acid in                     ■ silage sample for analysis taken
Red clover silage will be darker.            balance animal rations.                     good silage; it is stronger than the other              after considerable exposure to air so
    A good silage (either legume, grass or       The common fermentation analyses        acids, causes most of the drop in silage                lactic acid has degraded
corn) should have a pleasant smell. The      are pH; lactic, acetic, propionic and bu-   pH, and results from fermentation with                     Assessing silage quality by smell, feel
smell tends to be more vinegary in wet       tyric acids; ammonia; and ethanol. The      the least losses of DM and energy. Lactic               and fermentation analysis can tell you
silages (more than 65% moisture) and         normal ranges for these analyses are        acid should be at least 65% of the total                how to make better silage next year and
sweeter in dry silages (less than 55%        shown in the table.                         silage acids. Some common reasons for                   how to make the best of the silage you
moisture). The latter (often with darker         Silage acidity is measured as pH with   low lactic acid content are:                            have this year.
color) indicates excessive heating and       lower values indicating more acid and           ■ restricted fermentation due to                       Undersander is a University of
loss of total digestible nutrients and di-   better fermentation. Corn silages usu-      high DM content (especially legumes                     Wisconsin forage research and Extension
gestible protein. A strong vinegar smell     ally have a pH less than 4.2. Legumes       and grasses with more than 50% DM)                      agronomist.
comes from a high acetic acid content,       have more buffering capacity and gener-
which indicates less desirable fermenta-
tion and, possibly, reduced intake that
                                             ally have slightly higher silage pH. Some
                                             common reasons for high silage pH are:       BIO contributes $15,000 to FFA
                                                 ■ overly mature or drought-stricken
is often associated with wet silage. A
butyric acid smell (silage made too wet)     dry silage (more than 50% dry matter)        to support youth science education
or the smell of ammonia can indicate re-         ■ sample taken for analysis before
duced quality and animal intake.
    The silo, bunker or silo tube should
                                             silage is fully fermented
                                                 ■ cold weather during harvest and
                                                                                          I N a show of support for expanding innovative science projects for high school
                                                                                            students, the Biotechnology Industry Organization has presented the National
                                                                                          FFA Organization with a contribution of $15,000.
be checked for leakage. In addition to       slow or poor packing                            BIO’s contribution will go largely to support a new pilot contest within FFA
being a pollution problem, the effluent           ■ legume silages with high ash           through which students will produce videos creatively explaining the benefits and
represents a loss of nutrients because       (more than 15% DM) and/or protein con-       sustainability of modern agricultural methods.
the silage was made too wet.                 tent (more than 23% to 24% CP)                  The FFA “Sustainability Through Biotechnology” pilot project will offer students
    When you see bright orange color             ■ silage with excess ammonia             the chance to win new equipment for their chapter by producing winning videos
around the silo, be careful. This is due         ■ clostridial     silages/spoiled  or    that creatively highlight the benefits of modern agricultural methods such as seed
to nitrogen dioxide, which is often asso-    moldy silages                                technologies that produce more yields per acre and farming practices that are
ciated with nitrous oxide, both of which         ■ silages containing manure              more environmentally friendly. The prizes will be presented by biotechnology in-
are toxic to humans and animals.                 High pH due to restricted fermenta-      dustry leaders on-site at the winning chapters’ schools in early 2010.
    You can get a better idea of silage      tion (in high DM silage) may be good            More information on the program can be found at