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Lamar Buckelew
LOOKING AT THE FUTURE? Equipment from FMC to apply foam-based products at planting is here now. Lamar Buckelew says what’s under development is even more exciting.

New twist on disease control worth a look

Hi-Tech Farming: What would it be worth to get a head start on gray leaf spot at planting time?

What would it be worth if you could apply a product at corn planting and get tangible help on control of gray leaf spot and northern corn leaf blight? Such a product isn’t available yet, but it’s much further along than the drawing board. In fact, FMC expects registration yet this year for flutriafol as an active ingredient in a planting-time, in-furrow foam application. The company anticipates a full launch in 2021.

“We’re excited about what we’ve seen in our trials,” explains Lamar Buckelew, product development manager for precision platforms for FMC. “We found the fungicide in the top leaf on VT or tasseling corn plants. That means we’re getting some level of protection well into the season.”

Buckelew isn’t trying to mislead anyone; you may still need to apply a fungicide during the reproductive stage. That will depend on weather conditions and hybrid susceptibility, just as it does today. What this product could do, though, he notes, is provide a jump on control. Questions such as just how long this systemic product can provide adequate control are still under investigation.

FMC’s 3RIVE 3D concept is a classic case of products driving equipment development, Buckelew says. ‘The original idea was to find a way that growers could apply insecticide at planting without using the volume needed for liquid application,” he explains. “The rootworm rate for Capture liquid insecticide at planting is 3 to 5 gallons per acre. Some guys don’t want to handle that much product at planting.”

FMC sought equipment to apply the active ingredient in a foam over the row at planting. It allows for much lower volume of product.

Capture became the first product used in the 3RIVE 3D system, Buckelew says. Ethos 3D came next, which consists of the insecticide plus a biological fungicide that works on soilborne diseases. The new fungicide awaiting registration is next, with more products in development.

“FMC has fully committed to the technology,” Buckelew says. As a result, the equipment is becoming more sophisticated yet easy to use.

Automatic depth control

Once a product currently under development by Precision Planting comes to market, you will be able to change planting depth from the cab.

Say what? There are already options to change seeding rates on the go, and even hybrids or varieties on the go. But change depth, without getting out of the cab and manually making an adjustment? You read right!

Jason Webster, who manages the Precision Planting Institute at Pontiac, Ill., says SmartDepth can work one of two ways. You can manually change depth by push-button control from the cab. Or if you have at least one SmartFirmer seed-firmer sensor per 10 feet of planter width, you can program it to adjust seed depth based on information it gathers.

European Union action

The wheels of government move slowly, especially in Europe. But they do move. Rob-See-Co, Elkhorn, Neb., was one of the first companies to announce that the European Union finally approved Agrisure Duracade for import approval in food and feed use. The trait delivers dual mode-of-action control against insect pests.

The approval means farmers finally have full freedom to market grain from hybrids containing the trait anywhere. It was already approved in other major international markets, including China.    

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