By Bethany Kroeze | AgVenture Marketing & Communications Specialist
“One of the biggest tangible benefits of being a Regional Seed Company with AgVenture is localized product decisions.”
That’s Jeff Shaner, seed and technology manager for AgVenture. He’s been traveling across the country the last several weeks, walking through plots with Regional Seed Company (RSC) owners, AgVenture Yield Specialists and AgVenture customers. Time and time again, he is told how much a locally selected product portfolio has benefited a customer’s farm.
“Our RSCs are proud of the local product selection they offer,” he said. “They can see and prove the benefits of having a locally selected product portfolio, hand picked from one of the world’s greatest genetic portfolios.”
One way that RSCs select products for their portfolio is by seeing them in action. In August, AgVenture hosted back-to-back days of profit plot training at the Corteva Agriscience™ campus in Johnston, Iowa. AgVenture RSCs came out to learn about key placement information and the best selections for their areas.
“Through these profit plots, the local RSCs see the newest genetics and decide if something is going to work for them or not,” said AgVenture Seed and Technology Manager Louis Sutton. “They’re not just listening to someone sitting at a projector screen and telling them that a product is going to work. They get to actually see and touch the plant and hold an ear in their hands. They’re out in the field looking at the products and understanding our ratings and descriptions of the products.
“They’re making localized product decisions, drilling right down to what the farmer actually needs to produce the most bushels in his fields.”
AgVenture Yield Specialist Adam Jech, from The Seed Source (Wayne, Nebraska), values multiple opportunities to see products prior to adding them to a cropping plan. For Jech, walking through a plot isn’t something to do just once.
“The more times I can go through a plot and hear the different opinions on each product, the better it is,” he said. “It’s kind of a stacked effect: I get more out of seeing it on my own, then seeing it again while hearing Louis (Sutton)’s interpretation and the breeder’s interpretation. The more times I hear those messages, the better.”
AgVenture Yield Specialists and RSC owners have been soaking up opportunities to learn throughout the summer about new traits and technologies like Qrome® and Enlist™, which were commercially available for the first time in 2019.
Qrome products feature proprietary molecular-stack technology utilizing proven insect protection and dual modes of action to defend against above- and below-ground pests. One of the biggest drivers behind why the commercialization of Qrome is important to AgVenture RSCs is how it will unlock the yield potential of the entire Corteva germplasm pool.
“It’s a benign trait that plays really well with our genetic pool,” said AgVenture Corn Product Manager Darren Bakken. “We’re able to get Qrome inserted into the newest and broadest genetic portfolio, faster than we have ever been able to before.”
AgVenture Yield Specialist Preston Wilson, from AgVenture Pinnacle in central Iowa, said he is excited about what he has heard from Bakken: “It will be used with a larger percentage of our germplasm than we’ve been able to utilize in the past.”
Wilson is also looking forward to seeing new parent lines that haven’t been used previously. He is particularly interested in seeing how the Qrome products perform in various trials.
Seeing Qrome hybrids in multiple profit plots this summer should make the decision-making process for both RSCs and their customers much simpler, according to Bakken. In the past, when a grower was thinking about his acres, he had to make an ‘either-or’ decision.
“Do I want to control rootworm or do I want the absolute best product for this acre?” Bakken asked hypothetically. “With Qrome being the most optimized rootworm trait on the market, optimized for yield performance AND optimized for insect efficacy, you take away that decision.
“It’s not an ‘either-or’ anymore; you can have both, so that makes the decision process a lot easier.”
Decision-making is also getting easier for soybean acres with the commercialization of the Enlist E3™ soybean trait and how it fits into the Enlist Weed Control System.
“There’s just been a tremendous amount of positive reaction with Enlist E3 soybeans and the Enlist system’s approach with our crop protection products,” said Scott Plagman, portfolio manager with Corteva Agriscience. He also emphasized the value of Corteva’s position to offer multiple soybean technologies to AgVenture customers, including LibertyLink,® RoundUp Ready 2 Xtend™ and Glyphosate Tolerant varieties, in addition to the new Enlist E3 soybean products.
Ease of use is key for growers in Jech’s area in eastern Nebraska. “One grower in particular, I could see the stress instantly come off,” he said. “He’s paying for a technology that he’s actually going to use, and that was a big thing for many of my customers this year.”
Shaner, soybean product manager for AgVenture, is pleased with the one-two punch he is seeing from the system: low volatility and exceptional weed control.
“The herbicide is doing what it’s supposed to do: killing weeds,” he said. “And it stays where you spray it. Farmers really like that.”
The incredible response to Qrome and Enlist is just the beginning of the possibilities for AgVenture under the umbrella of Corteva Agriscience. The future has even more excitement in store.
“Looking forward, we get to dive deeper into the amount of expertise and resources that we have from bringing two large organizations together,” Plagman said. “We get to focus on what our customers are asking for and what we can provide to them.”
“With a strong R&D effort from the seed side, plus a very rich and deep pipeline in crop protection, the breadth and depth of the products we will have is monumental.”
Qrome® products are approved for cultivation in the U.S. and Canada. For additional information about the status of regulatory authorizations, visit http://www.biotradestatus.com/ Enlist E3™ soybean technology is jointly developed by Dow AgroSciences LLC and MS Technologies LLC. LibertyLink® and the Water Droplet Design are registered trademarks of BASF. Genuity®, Roundup®, Roundup Ready 2 Yield® and Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® are registered trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC used under license. DO NOT APPLY DICAMBA HERBICIDE IN-CROP TO SOYBEANS WITH Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® technology unless you use a dicamba herbicide product that is specifically labeled for that use in the location where you intend to make the application. IT IS A VIOLATION OF FEDERAL AND STATE LAW TO MAKE AN IN-CROP APPLICATION OF ANY DICAMBA HERBICIDE PRODUCT ON SOYBEANS WITH Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® technology, OR ANY OTHER PESTICIDE APPLICATION, UNLESS THE PRODUCT LABELING SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZES THE USE. Contact the U.S. EPA and your state pesticide regulatory agency with any questions about the approval status of dicamba herbicide products for in-crop use with soybeans with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® technology. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Soybeans with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® technology contain genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate and dicamba. Glyphosate herbicides will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate. Dicamba will kill crops that are not tolerant to dicamba.