For years, corn farmers focused on the genetics in the seed they bought, and still do, but the rise of seed-applied crop protection products provides opportunity as well. For 2020, Pioneer is launching its latest package of seed-protection technologies under the LumiGen umbrella brand.
The company has long offered its own proprietary mix of seed-applied tech on corn with components including its branded Lumivia and Lumisure insecticides. Building on the “Lumi” prefix, the new LumiGen base package includes several components.
“We work in four areas on seed-applied technologies,” says Bradley Van Kooten, Pioneer U.S. category lead, seed-applied technologies. “We have access to hundreds of products, and our goal is to select the best recipe with efficacy to protect the seed.”
The Lumivia and Lumisure components offer broad-spectrum protection against a range of insect pests, from cutworm to seed corn maggot. In the past, the seed-applied package has also included fungicide components. For 2020, Pioneer is ramping that up and adding a new tool — a bio-based corn nematicide.
Van Kooten explains that Corteva (Pioneer’s parent company) has a Seed Applied Technology Center that does extensive testing on the components that are eventually included in the LumiGen package. “We feel from a test standpoint that we have the top test program with two years of in-field impact tests, along with our longer-term laboratory testing,” he says. For example, Lumialza, the new nematode product, was tested with 265 replications of data on 800 trials before it was included in the 2020 LumiGen package.
BEST PACKAGES: The list of components on the left is the new standard seed-applied LumiGen package for Pioneer corn in 2020. It includes four fungicides, two insecticides, a novel nematicide and a bio-based plant “booster.” The combination on the right, which amps up the Poncho amount, is for growers facing stronger corn rootworm pressure. These are the two corn seed treatment choices farmers have from Pioneer.
A look at the components
The LumiGen standard package of components starts with Lumivia and Lumisure, the insecticide seed treatments that offers multiple modes of action. Lumivia is a Corteva seed-applied insecticide. Lumisure is clothianidin — known as Poncho — at the 250 rate.
The package also includes several fungicide components that take on key corn diseases including pythium, rhizoctonia, fusarium, head smut and more. Van Kooten explains that the package of fungicides offers multiple modes of action on all those diseases and more.
The fungicide package includes Maxim Quattro — a Syngenta fungicide with four active ingredients; Lumiante and Lumiflex, Pioneer-branded fungicides; and L-2012, a biofungicide. “The L-2012 is a bio-based product that provides for stronger early growth and can give the crop a yield boost,” Van Kooten says.
The final component, and the newest in the package, is Lumialza, which is a bio-based nematicide seed treatment — Bacillus amyloliquefaciens. “This is a new kind of nematicide,” Van Kooten says. “Under pressure, we have seen a 9-bushel-per-acre increase in yield. We’re excited about it because it grows with the plant’s root system, providing longer-term control — as much as 80 says.”
The bio-based product creates a film on the plant root that stops nematodes from doing damage; in fact, juvenile nematodes that dine on it are paralyzed. “And the product has no impact on beneficial species that help the corn plant,” Van Kooten adds. “And the paralyzed nematodes are susceptible to other predators in the soil.”
As for the yield boost of 9 bushels per acre? That does depend on the nematode pressure in the field, but Van Kooten adds that Pioneer has seen a consistent 3.7-bushel-per-acre yield advantage, even under low nematode pressure. Lumialza offers protection from a range of nematodes including needle, lance, stubby-root, root-knot, dagger and lesion.
The LumiGen package with the fungicide, insecticide and new nematicide combination is the standard offering for corn seed in 2020. There is another choice.
A second seed-applied package
Van Kooten explains that there is a second LumiGen choice on the market designed for areas with strong corn rootworm pressure. This package includes Lumiante and Lumiflex and Maxim Quattro fungicides; Poncho 1250/Votivo for corn rootworm and nematode protection; and L-2013P, another bio-based corn booster.
You can learn more about these two seed-applied technology choices at pioneer.com.