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What’s in Corteva’s plant health pipeline?

Agribusiness giant launches new plant health products and offers updates on corn, soy pests.

Mike Wilson, Senior Executive Editor

September 5, 2023

4 Min Read
Eric Scherder speaking with a monitor behind him
WEED CONTROL: “Multiple modes of action bring you cleaner fields and less resistance,” says Eric Scherder, Corteva U.S. crop protection launch Leader. Scherder and several other company leaders shared new product announcements and agronomic advice at a media event held during the 2023 Farm Progress Show.Mike Wilson

Corteva announced several new and upcoming plant health products in an early morning press event on the first day of the Farm Progress Show, held last week in Decatur, IL.

“Corteva is focused on increased farm productivity,” says Adriana Ratterman, vice president of the eastern commercial unit. “We look at innovation as our future. How do we get to 300-bushel soybeans? That is what we are trying to do, working with farmers in their fields.”

Here’s a quick look at the products being rolled out, now and in the near future:

  • Viatude is a new fungicide for farmers trying to control sclerotinia and white mold in canola and soybeans. It already has EPA approval for 2023 and contains two modes of action in an all-in-one premix, says U.S. fungicides product manager Clark Smith. It has proven control from Onmira, the active ingredient found in Aproach fungicide, plus prothioconazole for added protection. Every 10% increase in white mold dings soybean yields 2 to 5 bushels per acre. It also has been labeled for use in canola.

  • Corteva also unveiled LumiTreo, a fungicide seed treatment. Available in 2024, it is a 3-way premix formulated for control of soybean seedling disease complex (damping off, seedling blight, seed and root rot) caused by Phytophthora, Fusarium, Rhizoctonia, seed-borne Phomopsis, and suppression of Pythium. It is part of the company’s LumiGen seed treatment portfolio. Phytophthora is the number one yield robbing soybean disease in North America, says Brad Van Kooten, U.S. category lead, seed applied technologies. Active ingredients include oxathiapiprolin, ipconazole and picoxystrobin.

  • Along with better genetics and pest or weed control, Corteva officials noted a greater emphasis on biologicals, soil microbes that can naturally unlock better plant health. A new product called Utrisha P will focus on getting more soil-based phosphorus to plant roots. “This helps make the fertilizer more available to the plant,” says U.S. crop protection marketing manager Nate Wyss. “There was a limited availability this year but it will be widespread in 2024.”

  • Wyss also shared updates on another biological, Utrisha N, which became the first biostimulant added to the USDA Process Verified Program this year. Wyss said the latest trial data shows Utrisha N increases average soybean yield by 2.5bpa and average corn yield by 5 bpa.

  • Instinct NXTGEN, a nitrogen stabilizer, works to keep ammonium in the soil into June, when corn plants need it most, says Smith. Based on over 1,000 trials, using the product results in a 7% increase in corn yields.

Agronomic updates

A panel of experts provided fresh agronomic advice and updates on crop threats. Soybean cyst nematode remains the number one soybean pest and is present now in nearly all U.S. soybean growing regions. “It’s an invisible pest so it doesn’t get the attention it deserves,” says Liz Knutson, U.S. soybean portfolio marketing lead with Pioneer, a Corteva brand.  The group’s best advice: seed treatments and crop rotation if pressure threatens yields. Corteva inked an agreement with BASF in 2022 to bolster protection and provide nematode resistant soybeans, she adds.

The focus wasn’t all just soybeans, though. “Tar spot has been the boogeyman disease in the Corn Belt recently,” says Adam Theis, Pioneer U.S. corn portfolio marketing lead. “Environment plays a role. High humidity, cool, wet conditions, and 7-plus hours of leaf wetness from long dew periods can spread the disease quickly.”

Pioneer uses a scoring system to look at its hybrids and rank them on tar spot effectiveness, so it’s something to discuss with your seed dealer. “Seed selection is important, so look for strong resistance to tar spot,” he says. “Scout early, and be prepared to apply one or more targeted fungicide applications. Then monitor fields and prioritize early harvest as needed.”

Corteva officials reported that Enlist E3 was the number one selling U.S. soybean technology with over 55% market share. Yield and flexibility were the key drivers of success, says Eric Scherder, U.S. crop protection launch leader. “The varieties are tolerant to 2,4-D, glyphosate and glufosinate. Multiple modes of action are a key success strategy. It’s an easy to use system that’s flexible to incorporate within your operation, and it’s neighbor friendly,” he says. “It won’t hurt your neighbor’s fields or the environment.”

Weed control options include Enlist One and Enlist Duo, tank mixes to get multiple modes of action for both burn down and in-season control. Enversa is another option. It’s a postemergence product that will extend control up to canopy closure. For Enlist Corn, Power Core Enlist is an above ground control product for pests like black cutworm, European corn borer, fall armyworm and southwestern corn borer.

“Multiple modes of action bring you cleaner fields and less resistance,” concludes Scherder.

About the Author(s)

Mike Wilson

Senior Executive Editor, Farm Progress

Mike Wilson is the senior executive editor for Farm Progress. He grew up on a grain and livestock farm in Ogle County, Ill., and earned a bachelor's degree in agricultural journalism from the University of Illinois. He was twice named Writer of the Year by the American Agricultural Editors’ Association and is a past president of the organization. He is also past president of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists, a global association of communicators specializing in agriculture. He has covered agriculture in 35 countries.

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