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2014 corn season reaching end of the line, soybeans still on track for record

You might call it a “new-old” entry into the southern corn and soybean market. Mycogen is relatively new to the Mid-South and Southeast, but it’s been selling corn hybrids and soybean varieties for nearly 20 years in the Midwest.

Company representatives discussed Dow AgroSciences’ new Mycogen product lineup and its Phytogen brand cottonseed varieties and the anticipated launch of its Enlist herbicide-tolerant trait technology in 2015 for Enlist corn and soybeans and 2016 for Enlist E3 soybeans and cotton at Technology Center Media Day in Leland, Miss.

“Mycogen has only been in the Mid-South for two years with our corn and soybean varieties,” says Tom Eubanks, Mycogen Seeds grain development specialist for the region. “Last year, we had high-performing hybrids and varieties across both the corn and soybean portfolio, and we had a couple of winners in the Dryland trials.

“That’s one thing that we are very high on is the stress tolerance that we’ve got with our corn hybrids.  Having a breeding station in Rawls, Texas, helps us develop hybrids that fit in this extreme environment that we see down here in the Mid-South, and drought stress is one of the keys that we really focus on is making sure we have products that can tolerate the heat and drought stress associated with Mid-South growing conditions.”

Since Mid-South corn growers can’t count on the cool, wet conditions they’ve experienced in 2014, Mycogen is aiming its breeding efforts at creating a diverse group of hybrids.

“That’s where we think Mycogen is really going to shine,” said Eubanks. “We’ve had very kind years in 2013 and 2014 in terms of growing conditions for corn especially, and we feel like the Mycogen hybrids when we do go back into a cycle of hot and dry summers – that’s where Mycogen is really going to shine.”

Eubanks also talked about Mycogen’s new PowerCore trait package will offer more above-ground protection against corn insects than the more traditional Mycogen trait package, which has included traits for underground pests.

The PowerCore traits will be teamed up with Dow AgroScience’s new Enlist technology when the latter receives regulatory approval from USDA.

He noted that USDA is predicting record yields for both corn and soybeans across the Mid-South. “We have set corn and soybean records over the last two years, and it looks like we’re going to have a phenomenal year in 2014.

The corn crop is fast approaching harvest. “A lot of corn producers are already rolling up their irrigation pipe,” he said. “They’ve reached black layer or physiological maturity. So it’s just a matter of time before we get into corn harvest. Soybeans still have a little ways to go so the recent rains will definitely be of benefit to them as well.”


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