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Indiana-based seed brand adds product line

diseased corn leaf
COMBAT DISEASE: Stewart Seeds’ FortiField corn products will have protection against major diseases in the brand’s marketing area.
Stewart Seeds is releasing its FortiField corn products.

Stewart Seeds recently introduced a new line of corn products based on the concept of providing plant health and disease protection in select hybrids for the geography it covers. Based in Greensburg, Ind., this regional brand primarily markets in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. Stewart Seeds FortiField corn products will be available for 2019.

Trevor Perkins, an agronomist with the Stewart brand, recently answered Indiana Prairie Farmer’s questions about the new product introduction:

What are Stewart Seeds’ FortiField corn products? They’re products with a combination of agronomic traits and disease protection which fits well in our footprint. To make the lineup and earn that name, they must meet standards related to agronomic traits such as emergence, early vigor, good plant health in late summer and standability in the fall. They also must have good protection against gray leaf spot, northern corn leaf blight and anthracnose stalk rot.

Has this concept been in development for a long time? We’ve been working with this idea for a couple of years. We’re an eastern brand, and diseases like gray leaf spot, northern corn leaf blight and anthracnose stalk rot are concerns for us. You don’t see all of them every year, but they are the prevalent diseases over time in our geography. We wanted to introduce a line of corn products with a strong disease package which still also delivered agronomic characteristics and high yield potential.

What is the status of these products so far? They are in testing this year. I have been following a 109- day product, which will be in the lineup for 2019, which looks particularly strong. The version with VT Double Pro above- and below-ground insect protection looks especially strong. Yield data is still coming in, but it is very promising. It has good standability and stay-green power as well. There are also 100-day and 107-day hybrids in the lineup.

What else should growers know about this product line? This product line will still be strong against all three of these diseases. Especially in years when southern rust comes into our area, which isn’t every year, you will want to weigh whether to spray.

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