Evaluating Winning Strategies from 2020 Corn

Corn harvest in the Midwest faced a lot of challenges in 2020, but overall, it came out ahead in many areas. Tim Dahl is an agronomy service representative with Syngenta. From an agronomic perspective, his home territory of southern Minnesota had the fewest challenges it’s seen in years.

“As far as challenges go, this was a year that I would say in southern Minnesota was categorized by fewer-than-normal challenges. Our heart goes out to the farmers in Iowa and other states that were affected by the wind event. When we have those really good years, it’s a time to reflect on what we did as growers that was right, some other things that we can fine-tune, and it is a roller coaster, so I would completely expect that next year, we’re going to face more normal challenges.”

That doesn’t mean farmers in southern Minnesota didn’t have any challenges, especially when it came to weed resistance.

“We did have fields where we did identify weed resistance this year, and that’s across the whole corn-and soybean-growing belt. But we have identified Palmer amaranth in southern Minnesota, now, in several counties. That weed has a propensity to be tough to control. The other thing that we saw this year was some tar spot in southeastern Minnesota. That’s a disease that’s really starting to take off. It didn’t cause a huge yield impact because it came in late. And the last thing I wanted to touch on was corn rootworm. Seems like it is evolving and adapting. We have some new rootworm trait technologies that have been recently approved.”

Dahl says now is the time of year for farmers to evaluate what worked in the previous growing season and find things they can do better in 2021.

“Evaluate the things that the growers did right, and some things that could be fine-tuned a bit. Work with their suppliers and experts in the field to make sure that they really sharpen that program. One of the things that we really want to focus on going forward is the cost-per-bushel, not the cost-per-acre. So, what I’m getting at is that if we need to spend a few extra dollars to control a pest, whether that be a fungal pest, and insect or what have you, let’s make sure that we’re getting a positive return on investment.”

One of the things growers will need in their arsenal for 2021 is Acuron® herbicide.

When we talked about weed resistance, and I mentioned the multiple effective sites of action, Acuron is that premix of four different products, with three different sites of action in those four products are effective against our problem weeds. And, Acuron has great flexibility. It can be used pre- or it can be used post-. Acuron herbicide is a restricted use product because of the atrazine in it, so we can use that on up to 12-inch corn, post-. Acuron Flexi is another Acuron-branded product that does not contain atrazine, then we can use that on up to 30-inch corn. One of the things with Acuron is it’s very effective in controlling weeds, but it’s also very safe on the crop. We don’t want to harm that crop.”

To find out what an extra 5 to 15 bushels an acre with Acuron corn herbicide* could mean for your revenue potential, try Syngenta’s online calculator. You can find it at www.FindMoreBushels.com, or talk to your local Syngenta retailer. And remember to always read and follow label instructions. Acuron is a Restricted Use Pesticide. Acuron yield advantage range is based on 2016 Syngenta and university trials comparing Acuron to Corvus®, Resicore®, SureStart® II and Verdict® herbicide applied preemergence and at full label rates.