When farmers try to improve yields they sometimes find it’s not one but maybe a combination of practices that make it possible for them to harvest more corn, soybeans, cotton, rice or whatever.
Sometimes the adoption of one practice also provides a little lagniappe (that’s Cajun for an unexpected surprise), as in the case of a starter fertilizer application rig that also enables them to apply a fungicide in-furrow when they plant.
For the technical service representatives at BASF, it’s all part of a system they call “Advanced Acre,” which Greg Stapleton, the company’s representative for the upper Mid-South, discussed during a presentation at the 2014 BASF Research Tour at the Murray State University West Farm in Murray, Ky.
“As far as the Advanced Acre, it’s about the total system,” says Stapleton. “It’s from start to finish. It’s from selection of seed, fertility, to seed treatments, to their herbicide programs, fungicide programs and how they can maximize their performance and get the most out of every acre.
“It’s new in the sense of a concept that’s trying to tie everything together. We’ve always wanted to take our products and utilize them to the benefit of the grower as best we can. But, as our portfolio has grown, not only herbicides but especially fungicides, now we’re into the seed treatment side, and we’re also into the inoculums and everything else that goes into the acre from start to finish.”
Given the cost of getting a new product to the market these days, it’s not unusual for a company to begin looking for new uses for it once it becomes established.
“As you develop products, you start looking for new uses once they become a product that is generally accepted and adopted,” says Stapleton. “We did that with Headline, and we looked at it in corn last year.”
BASF representatives looked at in-furrow application of Headline several years ago, “but at that time we really didn’t have a platform that farmers were utilizing,” he noted. “As they started looking at more of the seed traits and started looking at starter fertilizer and having that equipment available, we started looking again at in-furrow applications.
“They did this with insecticides, and we started putting fungicides in there, and we saw these benefits. In 24 on-farm demonstrations last year, we picked up anywhere from six to 20 bushels just from in-furrow applications.”
From there, they began applying fungicides in-furrow in soybeans, and we’ve seen that same kind of benefit.
“It’s about root development,” he said. “You start with a base you can do a lot of things with.”