Pioneer offers seed selection insights

As growers evaluate 2009 harvest performance and prepare to make 2010 seed purchase decisions, agronomy professionals from Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, remind growers of the importance of selecting the right product for the right acre.

Before making this important decision, it's critical for growers to understand how the seed's genetics respond to the local environment, the true value of seed traits and the results of localized testing. In other words, it's about knowing how to select a seed product with both the agronomic and technology traits best suited for each field.

"There is no one-size-fits-all solution or cookie-cutter approach, which means some products perform differently in different fields," says Greg Luce, Pioneer agronomy research manager. "Because every product is different and every field is different, the key is for growers to optimize their efforts and choose products that will reap the greatest value for the investment on each acre."

For growers, the focus should be on evaluating whether they're making the right seed selection for the right field conditions, weather, disease and insect pressures. Growers need to make sure to take advantage of resources available to help them select a hybrid that will match traits against these risks.

One such resource growers can turn to is their Pioneer sales professional, who can arm them with localized information and research to help determine which product is best suited to their operation, local area, etc. This includes evaluating the traits of a hybrid or variety, deciding if its strengths are right for their needs and if any weaknesses can be managed properly through product profile information and their own management practices.

For example, when choosing products with insect protection, growers should focus on the pest pressures present in their particular area.

"Corn rootworm resistant products may garner attention, but if corn rootworm pressure isn't at a level of concern, the best choice for a particular field may be a specific hybrid that does not contain corn rootworm resistance," Luce says. "The goal isn't about picking the most popular or talked about product or trait, but rather matching the right genetics to the particular environment and managing risks by including key traits for added protection."

In addition, Pioneer conducts extensive testing on its products not only before they reach the market, but also within local markets to help evaluate the best product fit for a particular geography, giving growers both the yield boosts and protection they are seeking.

"A great example of this is the Pioneer brand Y Series soybeans that come not only with yield potential but also offer solid defensive packages," Luce says.

Sound management practices also can go a long way in helping growers protect their investment, helping to allow the seed to reach its full genetic potential on their farms. This includes considering such aspects as the best planting time, seed treatments, foliar fungicides and nitrogen application needs to get the most out of every product on every acre each year.

This year the cool weather and moisture that occurred in some areas expanded foliar (leaf) diseases. That's something the grower cannot predict but also something that can be addressed via management practices, such as use of a foliar fungicide. Foliar fungicide applications can be beneficial for both corn and soybeans and are becoming more popular with growers. These applications protect against yield-robbing diseases that can impact the genetic potential of products.

Because the challenges facing growers vary from year to year, from weather shifts to pest populations, it's often difficult to predict what the next growing season will bring. But being as prepared as possible can go a long way in helping set up growers for success.

"At Pioneer, we're educating and putting more agronomists, area account managers and sales professionals in our growing areas so we can really fine-tune product performance in a given geography," Luce says. "What separates us is the effort we put into it, the training, diving into the data, dissecting the information and really working with growers and their knowledge base to create the best partnership."

For additional information, please visit http://www.pioneer.com.

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