S3:E3 Agronomy Insights for 2023 with Troy Jenkins

Dec 15, 2022



Show Notes

No two growing seasons are exactly the same, so how do you prepare for the next year? In our Field Points Episode with Troy Jenkins, Ceres Solutions Agronomist, what to be thinking about as we move into 2023.

Biggest Threats for 2023

You can’t plan for the growing season without planning for weed control. Weeds are yield robbers and require thoughtful, proactive management. Weeds like Palmer Amaranth and Tall Water Hemp have been issues across the trade area. Troy shares the threat is bigger than just these weeds. The threat is total weed resistance, especially with additional pressures on certain modes of action.

As Ceres Solutions works through the chemical options for customers, Troy shared how important Farm Planning is when it comes to tackling our weed threats. This allows the Ceres Solutions team to get to work procuring what the customers will need throughout the growing season.

Biggest Opportunities for 2023

Some of the biggest opportunities for 2023 fall into yield optimizing products. It goes without saying that you must have a solid foundation for your crop before you will see an impact from using such products. But if you’re doing the basics well, like managing fertility, placing the right hybrid, and executing on timely planting, this category of products might help you see that next yield level.

The first step is optimizing planting timed applications. This starts with having a premium seed treatment. In addition, planting is a great time to apply plant growth regulators (PGRs) to get the plants out of the ground as quickly and uniformly as possible.

“The Ascend product has got a changed formulation this year. And how it's changed a little bit is that it's got more of the auxin material in it than it's ever had,” shared Troy. “The auxin material is a material that accelerates the plant to convert sugars inside of the seed and send out the root system and get out and get going and get out of the ground.”

In season, there are foliar applied products that help deliver plant nutrition, defend against diseases, and now, also help fix nitrogen.

“The fungicide insecticide system you can't beat it,” started Troy. “And if you're going to go out there and make an application with a fungicide/insecticide it sure would make good sense to me to use some of the yield enhancing products that are available.”

To learn more about the products Troy mentions in this podcast, tune into the full episode here.



Morgan Seger (00:02):

Every day we rely on food, fuel, and fiber. But how much do you know about these industries we depend on? In this podcast, we dive deep into the production and processes of these everyday essentials. This is field points and original podcast production from Ceres Solutions. Welcome to Field Points. I'm your host, Morgan Seger. This is our third episode in our agronomy series, and I'm so excited to bring you the insights that we gain from this one. In our first two episodes, we talked a lot about securing product, farm planning, and what's going on in those volatile fertility markets. Today we're going to transition into agronomy practices. Ceres Solutions is so fortunate to have three full-time agronomists. As you might remember, we featured Betsy Bauer in our first series focused on stewardship. Now we're going to bring in another one of those agronomists, Troy Jenkins, to cover what happened in the 2022 growing season and what the outlook is for 2023. He's going to cover what he thinks is low hanging fruit for yield enhancement, and what are some of the biggest threats that growers should be looking out for. Throughout this conversation, I'll be joined by John Gibson, the Director of Seed and Crop Protection with Ceres Solutions. Now let's meet Troy.

Troy Jenkins (01:17):

My name is Troy Jenkins. I'm the agronomist for Region 1 and Region 2, which basically covers Michigan and all northern Indiana. Agronomists that takes care of the sellers and helping them understand some of the things that are going on in the field with nutrient deficiencies, diseases how to diagnose problems in doing a lot of training,

Morgan Seger (01:36):

Now that we have officially wrapped up the 2022 growing season, Troy shares what some of his key takeaways.

Troy Jenkins (01:42):

As far as corn goes. I think the one thing that is really important is that hybrids never stop moving forward. They constantly are getting better. And a proof of this was that we had a rough start this last year, and then we went into a major drought that lasted almost all the way up to the 4th of July. Some areas of the Ceres solutions trade area, they didn't get the reprieve, they didn't get the rain, but a lot of the southern area and the northern area did. And it's amazing how well that the crop responded from that rain and recovered and yields are just exceptionally good other than a slice that goes through about Lafayette down that area that never got that rain timely. So that's one of the things that I think is really important to understand. One of the other things that I saw this last year is that the more we learn about Tar spot, the less we know the disease is a major disease in Northern Indiana and into Michigan, and completely unpredictable.

Troy Jenkins (02:40):

We were throwing out projections to how we thought it was going to come into the crop. Never happened, never really came in until very, very late. Really never affected. The yields came in super late. We think probably because of the heat in June probably did a lot to reduce the spore counts. So that was quite a surprising thing. But the other thing, the last thing I think I'll make mention of is that even though we sprayed fungicides that growers purchased, okay, and we really didn't really expect to see great responses, but once again, those fungicide applications, even without Tar spot, we saw really good yields of anywhere from 11 up to 20 bushel of the acre increases. So a good year for corn soybeans experienced some problems this last year at planting time. It was cold and wet. We saw some disease come back in late season in August, sudden death syndrome.

Troy Jenkins (03:34):

We had some drought stress that caused some pot abortion, some bean flour and pot loss. But probably another thing that we saw that was really interesting is that soybeans that were planted late in the month of May this year got rain right at the time of first flower, and we saw more white mold than we've seen in a number of years. So white mold was on the increase. Soybean yields all over the board this year. So alfalfa, let's talk a little about alfalfa. I cover Michigan. Last year was a record year for alfalfa production, and other than the second cutting in which we had that droughty condition in which went across Michigan also and Western Indiana along that side of the state second cutting was kind of a disappointment. But overall, actually alfalfa yields were as good as a normal trend line would say. I'd actually say they were better from what I saw in Michigan. We had yields that maybe weren't as good as last year, but pretty good.

Morgan Seger (04:35):

Have a few quick follow up questions. Tar spot on corn. With the fungicide treatments, were you seeing a reduced impact of the tar spot or is there anything growers can be doing to manage the unpredictability of that disease?

Troy Jenkins (04:48):

Yeah from a predictability standpoint, it's totally unpredictable. So the only thing that we can do is begin to scout very early when the corn is somewhere around knee high to get maybe chest high, start looking in the lower canopy, see if we see tars spot lesions showing up, if we see those spores showing up early down there, then we know that we better be planning on making some applications in a more timely fashion From the tars spot, moving up into the plant canopy, once again, we scouted, scouted, scouted and never found tars spot all the way up into and through the flowering stage. So we never really had to be really proactive on that application.

Morgan Seger (05:27):

But then it came in later and that's yes because of the fungicide treatments held it off or..?

Troy Jenkins (05:33):

Good question. No, we actually saw corn that was not treated with fungicides that still didn't have tar spot. And the reason being is that early on in the season when rain would activate the S spoilation and make it come up into canopy, it didn't happen. And so what happened is that the rains that finally occurred in the 4th of July and after the 4th of July sparked the spores to come up. So we saw it come in late. TUR five actually came from the mountains in Mexico, believe it or not. It was up in the mountains in Mexico. They've had tar spot for a long, long, long time, and it came up in one of the hurricanes back in the, oh, probably the 2010 timeframe. Actually one of the first counties to have it was Cass County, Indiana, which is just in down in the center of our trade area. So it came in, nobody knew what it was. It's got a little different species to it than what they have in Mexico. Forms some different explorations, but more or less, that's where it came from, came up in a hurricane.

John Gibson (06:32):

Would you say on the corn that fungicides becoming more of a normal practice and that tar spot is more about managing the timing of that practice?

Troy Jenkins (06:42):

Yeah, that's a good point, John, that when we look at the application of the fungicide, it's something that's just going to be a regular event that's going to happen because there's other things going on with that treatment from a plant health standpoint a resp respiration reduction, and yeah, we have a tar spot battle that we will face. Some years will be heavier than others. Some years will be lighter than others, but year in and year out, the application of the fungicide pays dividends for both disease and plant health aspects.

Morgan Seger (07:12):

What about fungicide on soybeans? Because you talked a lot about soybean diseases. What trends were you seeing this

Troy Jenkins (07:17):

Summer? So fungicides, insecticides, a holistic approach on soybean. I think that you can't lose on that. You, that's something that when you spray at late R two to R three stage, which would be full flowering depo set in the top part of the canopy with a fungicide in insecticide, there's just a holistic approach in that system to increase yields. It's pretty consistent year after year.

Morgan Seger (07:43):

Next we asked Troy what are some of the biggest mistakes he saw happening in 2022?

Troy Jenkins (07:50):

Some of the biggest mistakes that I saw, I in my opinion, were growers that did not adopt the use of nitrification inhibitors in their systems. Nitrogen is a very leaky product, very leaky system subject to loss to lots of different means. Okay? And when nitrogen becomes high price like it is at a dollar a pound or more, we need to make sure that we stabilize that product because over well, during the grand growth phase, we can have eight to 11 pounds of nitrogen per acre taken up, and that's that knee high up to when it tassels. You think about that tremendous amount of nitrogen being taken up basically over 30 days after it's been applied. So we need to make sure we protect that nitrogen so when that corn begins to gobble it up in that grand growth phase, it's got that nitrogen. Also corn uses over 37% of its nitrogen after it tassels. So if you think about a dollar, $3 five per pound of nitrogen, we need to make sure that we protect it and keep it in the system because it's too high of a cost to lose from a new nitrogen use efficiency standpoint, we need to protect it.

John Gibson (09:06):

Troy, would you say that you already talked about the improvements in seed and what we're seeing from a genetic bringing value in showed it in 22. Would you say that also is why we're needing some of that nitrogen later season, those hybrids or neurogenetics just like it then?

Troy Jenkins (09:21):

Yeah, absolutely. All the new hybrids or the new hybrids today, it's been shown in university research, are really nitrogen lovers from the soil aspect. The old hybrids used to be nitrogen lovers from within cannibalization. They want to eat it out of the roots, eat it out of the stock and out of the leaves. Today's hybrids utilize over 50% of the late season nitrogen from the soil sore. Extremely important that we protect it and have it there available for that plant late when it's wanting to use 35, 30 7% later on in the year. And it's all hybrid driven. It is, yes.

John Gibson (09:58):

Which makes sense from a breeder standpoint that they want that plant to stand as long as possible. Correct. And not cannibalize the stalk of the reef.

Troy Jenkins (10:05):

And that's one of the reasons we see straight stay green look the way that it looks today more than it has in the past. But the bottom line to it is, is that hybrids that don't have that nitrogen later on in the season not only will cannibalize themselves, but they will run short on total pounds and needed for grain fill. Other mistakes, probably not utilizing yield enhancement systems or approaches. We have plenty of tools out here available today for the grower from the standpoint of things that can help the crop get out of the ground early. As far as stimulating root growth and development, we have plenty of stress mitigating products that can help ward off those stresses incurred during drought stress. We have plenty of micronutrient tools available to us and the ability to do all kinds of infield testing determined what kind of micronutrients or those mitigating type products that we need to be using or micronutrient treatment.

Morgan Seger (11:04):

Troy shared how some of these yield enhancement efforts happen all the way back at planting.

Troy Jenkins (11:10):

Yeah, there was a little bit more of a challenge this year actually. It was kind of funny. The late April planning really didn't occur, and then when we got to about May 5th and May 10th, it just turned into beautiful and boom, it took off and then things went well. So the early on was kind of a challenge, but after we got through that, things greatly improved from that standpoint. Let's like Ascend, Ascend SL, Ascend 2X those are great products to help increase the hormone activity early on in the germination. And why is that important? It's important because corn yield really has a lot of determination on how fast it comes out of the ground, how uniform it comes out of the ground, and how even it is in the field. Those are the aspects that are so important to a grower. Emergence and uniformity are so important that we have to have that happen and Ascend helps with that to get us to that next level.

Troy Jenkins (12:03):

So some other things I'll just make mention of unorthodox crop cover crop termination. It was a big, big one for me. I have to tell you that in the world of weed control and weed management, we have problems already with supply chain and products that are available. And when growers don't do things in the right pattern where they don't terminate the cover crop 10 to 14 days before planting and those cover crops become weeds, they become extremely hard to kill. The herbicides don't work well on 'em. They become a real problem with emergence and they become a problem with diseases and harboring insects and that, I've fought quite a bit of that or saw quite a bit of that this last year, along with maybe not using systematic wheat control systems. One of the problems sometimes is that I have to have every weed up.

Troy Jenkins (12:55):

It really is not the right mentality. We want to control weeds when they're in the right stage of growth and we want to control weeds before they become a crop. Robbing, yield robbing problem and letting them get up to be knee high is probably not the best technique in the world. And that's one of those things I see as some mistakes that were made. A Ceres solutionsARM agronomy associate can help them walk through that. We have blueprints, we have all prepared systematic programs to talk about what can I do? How do I approach it? What if I have to cut an all boat at the line and I can't do that program? What kind of a side step do I make? We are totally prepared to help the grower through any one of those type of, we control management systems,

John Gibson (13:45):

Not change their management or their system that they want to do, but just provide guidelines to try to make it successful.

Troy Jenkins (13:52):

Exactly. And

John Gibson (13:54):

To utilize all the products needed at the right timing. I mean, I think Troy alluded to some things were in tight supply, some of the economics and some products changed and now we're trying to kill a larger weed later with a higher rate at a different price point than what we are initially expecting.

Troy Jenkins (14:10):


John Gibson (14:11):

And maybe unsuccessful, even with all those economics, Sometimes waiting a little longer thinking you can wait a little longer. It causes the weed to be bigger than it should be. And the expense of the herbicide now is more if I can get them the weeds terminated and I get that crop grown and canopied over I can do it for less money per acre.

Morgan Seger  (14:33):

It seems like across territories we have seen more and more extreme weather events each growing season. Troy's going to now transition to talking about his predictions for 2023.

Troy Jenkins (14:45):

Well, one thing I will share with you is that I am not a climatologist or a meteorologist and I'm not going to go there, but I will share some things with you that I think are important, that are really important. When we look at it, we have roughly a 1.2 Fahrenheit degree increase in our temperatures here in Indiana and roughly six inches more rainfall than we've had in the past Trend lines. It's very important. A longer frost-free period is really important. One of the reasons why I talk about growers in Michigan growing more corn than they've ever seen in their lives is because their growing window is now anywhere from 20 to 30 days longer than it's been in the past. There's an increased frequency and magnitude of extreme heat in the summertimes and the rain events that we experience in northern Indiana and Michigan are now more intense in the late winter, early spring, causing major flooding, leading into extreme drought stress in the growing season.

Troy Jenkins (15:51):

So we're roughly, we're ahead as far as precipitation and temperature, but the duration of the stress heat is occurring in the middle of our crop growing season and the flooding and erosion and swamping out of fields is occurring at planting or before planting. So these are watch outs that when we talk about what's happening with the weather trends are happening from that standpoint when we talk about that, then we get into reduced plant available water in the growing season. So how do we do that? How do we handle that? Maybe we use more reduced tillage systems, maybe you use of more cover crop systems to help protect soil moisture. We wanna plant maybe a little bit earlier cuz sometimes we can offset drought stress that can occur at flowering by planting a little bit earlier, but we can't go in and mud it in either.

Troy Jenkins (16:44):

So that's why it's such a dicey game and when you look at meteorologists and climatologists making predictions, there's so much inaccuracy in it. It's like it's a flip of the coin 50%. So that's why I'm very leery about making predictions. But I'll, the comments that I've made about climate change and about what that looks like with what's happening in Indiana and Michigan is the trend line that we're seeing more drought occurring in season with higher temperatures going through the growing season and basically the amount of water in crop is actually the same amount as far as in the growing season. The problem is is that the increase in total amount of precipitation is occurring in late winter, early spring when it's a problem.

John Gibson (17:31):

Well, and it seems like the timing of when the rain or when the water precipitation comes is changing and you're seeing these bigger events less frequent, and I think that goes back to your conversation about stabilizers not knowing when you may get that four or six inch rain.

Troy Jenkins (17:47):


John Gibson (17:48):

And the risk of potentially losing that

Troy Jenkins (17:50):

Nutrient. Yeah, exactly. That's a very important point. It used to be that we used to have rain events that were a one inch rain event was a big, big thing. And today we get 2, 3 5 inch rain events in some cases up to nine inch rain events over a two day period. And these huge two to three inch rain events, just what they do to the soil and what they do to the nitrogen loss and things like that where if we can keep it protected, John, it's a major thing. That's why keep harping on this nitrification inhibitor system or uase inhibitor to reduce volatility

John Gibson (18:27):

Within our trade territory. We had locations have a nine inch plus rain and 22 spring we had locations have a nine plus inch rain in the spring of 21. And then overall in the spring of 19, we were above average wet across most of our trade territory. So we've had some very significant rainfalls in the early spring and I think Detroit's point protecting that investment is critical now

Troy Jenkins (18:50):

It really is yes to add rate to that. Okay, I'm a farmer and I'm going to go out and I'm going to plant a hybrid or variety in a field. I need to make sure that I'm planting a hybrid or variety that matches that soil in that condition. That's tough dirt. I love it when farmers say, that's tough dirt or that's good dirt. Okay, tough dirt means that I need to have more of a defensive hybrid for that field or good, really good dirt, high fertility systems. I'm planning more of a racehorse, a high yielder on that who makes that decision and how that decision's made is needs to be done by a pro and it needs to be done by a seed seller, a seed manager who knows what they're doing. And that's once again where one of our Ceres arms can come back in and help with that.

Troy Jenkins (19:37):

Adding to that, I will say this is that seed treatments, the use of seed treatments in these systems is extremely important on both corn and soybeans and having a good seeds treatment that's got a good fungicide insecticide package on it to help protect that corn or that soybean plant from having early season disease infection is extremely important. So two things, picking the right variety or hybrid, and number two, making sure it's got the right seed package on it, treatment package on it to do the job is important. Some other things I think for the upcoming future in the next year is that growers got away from using the normal rates of their P and K fertilization programs. This is the second year of very, very high crop removal rate. Year growers have got to begin to think about getting back to a normal P and K, not necessarily being excessive, but getting back to a normal P and k because we're removing a lot of nutrition out of the ground and they need to be thinking about getting back to that normal soil test used, what the normal soil test recommendation is and get back to that.

Troy Jenkins (20:53):

Another thing that I am adamant about and Indiana is pretty adamant about and Michigan is even more adamant about, is using split applications of nitrogen. It's imperative that we go to a split applications of nitrogen to get the most out of our nutrient use efficiency when we apply nitrogen in the month of March and we expect to the grand growth period to be occurring 40 to 60 days later, how much nitrogen is lost in a soil that doesn't have a lot of organic matter or a lot of clay to hold that nitrogen. We can't afford to be losing it. We're saying come in the spring of the year at planting time and put down a base nitrogen rate of 50 to a hundred pounds of nitrogen and then follow back in somewhere between corn that's eight inches in height two somewhere around 16 inches in height and put on your Cyrus application.

John Gibson (21:45):

Yeah, generically, if you did do some fall application, you would come back with something in the spring or if you did something pre in the spring, you would come back something in crop. At least two timings. Okay. Yeah. Is better than all at

Troy Jenkins (21:57):

Once. Correct the use of a Cyrus application. And today we have the ability to use our nitrification inhibitors in that Cyrus application to maximize both nitrogen and sulfur, which is another nutrient that's critically important today in our systems to make sure that we have adequate nitrogen in sulfur in our systems later in the year. And then once again, I think it's important that the growers that are trying to get to the next level are using tissue testing nutri solutions, tissue testing, and we have a program called Nitrogen Solutions, which is a program we do nitrogen testing along with tissue testing to determine what's in the soil from a nitrogen standpoint and to look at what we want to use for foliar applied micronutrients in crop as we move forward. It helps the grower understand where he is at from his nitrogen. I have no problem with telling a farmer that he's good to go on nitrogen when the corns at knee high or waist high from a nitrogen sample.

Troy Jenkins (22:59):

That makes my day when I know he is going to be fine. But if he's not going to be fine, we can help him out and determine what he needs to put on. All three of us, Jeff, Betsy, and myself, we all are involved in crop metrics, irrigation, water monitoring in the field. And so we use water monitoring to look at when we need to water how to advise watering for the grower, but we also use it for nutritional applications. We can monitor where salinities atna soil, how nitrogen's moving. We can help our growers utilize ferion, which is to apply nitrogen and sulfur through an irrigation system at the most timely periods. We see some phenomenal yields when we do that, when we monitor water use and advise our growers how to put on nitrogen and sulfur through the pivot.

Morgan Seger (23:46):

Troy's predictions for the 2023 growing season include what he predicts will be the biggest threats.

Troy Jenkins (23:53):

Major threat is still Palmer and tall water hemp for our region. It definitely is and I'm glad you brought this up. I'm glad you asked this question because a major threat threat to us today is not just these weeds but resistance. Totally. Total weed resistance. I'm not going to get into talking about modes of action on herbicides, but I will share with you that we are really alarmed and concerned about a couple modes of action. The PPO family and the H P P D family that we rely on heavily to help us through weed management and what we call layering or multiple mode of action. And we're scared to death that we're going to lose it, that it's, they're going to become resistant because of the nature of this weed, the way it crosses, we're scared to death and it is a major concern. Marestail is completely, almost, completely uncontrollable in soybean other than the E3 or the other systems that are growth regulator related for control and that it's not great now. So Marestail is still a major concern, but without question when we talk about tall water hemp and Palmer Amaranth, it's the main deal. Okay?

John Gibson (25:05):

Yeah. Inevitably the more you acres you cover with one product, you're essentially somewhat speeding up resistance.

Troy Jenkins (25:13):

And if you're not utilizing multiple modes of action to cover the blemishes, and that's what trying to do, we're trying to cover the blemishes, is by slipping this guy in here, I can control tall water hemp and palm Palmer amaranth as a soil applied product like a Ziva or a dual or a warrant. And then I'm going to come in, I'm going to layer in atrazine on corn, I'm going to use H P P D and I'm going to try to keep the tall water hemp and the Palmer down in the corn year coming into soybeans. I'm going to come in, I'm going to layer in maybe something that's like an authority mtz or something like a valor type product. And I'm going to come back and I'm going to apply and enlist or liberty over top of that E three system, which would be all those.

Troy Jenkins (25:56):

Or if I'm round up to extend system, I can utilize that over top of it. And if I'm basically neither one of those traits, I can still come in with a PPO system like a Flexstar or Cobra to clean that up. But eventually I run out of choices. So that's why this multiple mode of action, even when I come in on soybean and I apply the ppo, I'm putting it in another layer of a grass type herbicide for residual control at the same time constantly trying to shove another layer in there to keep resistance down as much as possible. Our sellers are, they're all tuned up on this. They understand that they know what they're doing with making recommendations on the multiple mode of action concept.

John Gibson (26:39):

And I think our trade territory understands how critical this is. As we've seen mayor's tale and Palmer ath and tall water hemp just continue to expand in our trade territory and become the norm from east to west, north to south. Right? Places that didn't have it five, six years ago have it all.

Troy Jenkins (26:57):

I used to think that the heartland for Palmer is over on the west side over in the Francisville, over in that side of the state going over to Illinois line. But you know what? Tall water hemp is a major problem on the eastern side of Indiana. It is a major problem. I don't see Palmer over on the east side of the state. Yeah, I see tall water hemp horribly. So yeah, it's depending on where you're at.

John Gibson (27:23):

Yeah. Got it

Troy Jenkins (27:24):

All. Which one's worse? Both. Yeah.

John Gibson (27:26):


Troy Jenkins (27:27):

Okay. What other threats do I see to the market area? I already mentioned the group 27 internally. Internally for us it's a, it's can be a man power issue. And so when we're in the business of custom application and servicing our customer, we can't get people hired. We want to get people. So people have to understand that we have to do a better job of how we deliver products to our customer. And we have to do a better job of how do we communicate with our customer. And that's a threat. That's a major threat to us as a company. Because at Ceres it's all about taking care of the customer. I mean, I don't only know that, hear that from John, that's that comes from our top folks. We take care of our customers. That's what we're going to do. We're going to take care of our customers.

Troy Jenkins (28:17):

And so we have to have conversation with them about what can we do to better service you? How can you help us service you? That's a threat in my opinion. And then the other threat that I think is extremely important, and I'm going to kinda let John jump into this in a second, is that our folks at CERES do a phenomenal job of communicating with major manufacturers, suppliers about what do we have, what got, what's allocated? Where we at in our allocation from last year to this year? What are the platforms that our growers are telling our sellers they're going to be doing, oh, I'm switching all my beans to E three last year. Last year. They're half E3 and the other half were extend and they're not doing that. They're all going to be E3s. We have to have that conversation. And then John and the group have to look at what's allocated, where do we get it? How much are we going to tell each branch that they have? What does the logistics look like on getting it in place?

John Gibson (29:14):

Troy spoke to trying to be more efficient, trying to using, use our planning and our technology to be more efficient for our growers cuz that's what they expect. And then from an allocation and crop protection standpoint of having the right products in the right place, goes back to that planning and that early conversation from a crop mix or a management style with the growers, with some products being allocated and tight. One of the things that we didn't expect outta the gate Gate was we may not get it in bulk, but all of a sudden we have supply and it's in two and a half gallon jugs and we are used to holding it in bulk. So handling jugs, moving jugs around. The opposite's also true where it typically was a package product and we could only get it in bulk and we need that bulk around 10 different locations, not just at one spot. So how do we do that logistically and how do we do that timely enough so that we have the right product in the right place when our growers expect to have supply.

Morgan Seger (30:10):

As we look forward to the next growing season, Troy shares the opportunity he sees in some of the new yield enhancement tools.

Troy Jenkins (30:17):

We already talked a little bit about some of the things that we can do with our growers at planting time. Some of the things that they can utilize. For instance, in soybean, we've got a brand new seed treatment system this year acceleron seed treatment that's beefed up better than it's ever been. Our seed treatments are going to be exceptionally good on all of our corn hybrids. And so farmers need to take advantage of that and look at those systems. But also we talked about the Ascend product. The Ascend product has got a changed formulation this year. And how it's changed a little bit is that it's got more of the auxin material in it than it's ever had. Which the auxin material is a material that accelerates the plant to convert sugars inside of the seed and send out the root system and get out and get going and get out of the ground.

Troy Jenkins (31:13):

And that's really important when you look at we, they've increased that auxin content along with the other products that are in it that what we call a GI acids and the cytokines that are in that mixture. But that's really important along with the fact that it's got a new formulation where it's has less, what we call it has less response to the plant as far as having pulling it back or not letting it be as successful as it should be at germinate and getting outta the ground. So I think growers should take a look at all these things. One of the things I think is so important when we talk about what can a guy do to get to the next level or do whatever he needs to do when you've got corn, that's $6 plus. Okay? What makes the difference between very, very successful profitability is bushels.

Troy Jenkins (32:02):

I mean the bone in, the more bushels you grow, the more profitable you are when a corn is at six bucks. So when you look at adding on some of these products that are three, $4 an acre here and there, even if I put $25 more per acre into the system, my goodness if I can get 8, 10, 12 bushel more, I've made big money. So it's important that they utilize these aspects and think about those. Some of the other things that I think I wanna touch on too that are kind of interesting, I don't know if it's something that's a necessarily a big deal, but some of the new nitrogen fixating products that are on the market today, and that being, there's nutrition, which is a Corteva product that when you spray it on the corn plant it or really corn plant soybean plants and a product called Envic on Vita, okay is another one is a foliar product we can spray on or you can use it in furrow.

Troy Jenkins (33:04):

Actually the recommendation today is to not use it so much in furrow and actually spray it on, goes inside the cells of the plant, grows in there, fixes nitrogen out of the air into the leaves, takes it back into the plant for better nitrogen use efficiency. We have more and more growers that are looking at different products that you can apply in furrow in the soil. And we think, I think myself, that the long term is probably going to be more foliar application for these products. I think they have a better fit than the products that are being used in furrow. So that would be something that if a grower was trying to go to the next level, I'm not saying reduce nitrogen, I'm saying trying to go to the next level. And in soybean, this is what really excited me on soybean was that soybeans only produce 65 to 70% of their nitrogen through nitrogen fixation.

Troy Jenkins (33:54):

That means it's gotta be 35, 40% coming outta somewhere else, right? Well what if we could put that on a foliar feed, that soybean plant to make it to the rest of that nitrogen and get to that next level of where it needs from a nitrogen fixation standpoint. So I think the iveta is one of those things that could be something we look at. Once again, a cesl on soybean. Once again, that's a growth regulator that we apply at R two to R three and the application of micronutrients in the systems, especially in corn. When we look at what we do at V5, V6, V7, and in a lot of cases we're actually putting some on again at through verion boron through ion and things like that. But the use of theNutriSolutions systems to test for what's going on in the plant analysis and make applications I think is something that growers should be utilizing more as we go forth.

Troy Jenkins (34:54):

And then last but not least, you can't beat it. The fungicide insecticide system you can't beat it. And if you're going to go out there and make an application with a fungicide insecticide it sure would make good sense to me to use some of the yield enhancing products that are available. There's a couple more that are available now. We have a product called Yield on which is a brand new product that's kind of interesting. It's got some micronutrients in it it's got some meibum in it and it's got some boron in it, but it's also got some interesting characteristics. It's got extracts from seaweed. It's actually got extracts from our good friend Palmer Amarant or the Amam family and it's got some extracts that come out of some of the tough, really durable grasses like big blue stem and things like that. And they take these extracts and they put 'em in and they're stress mitigators to help the plant get through stresses and produce more sugar and move more sugar in the plant late in the season during the flowering stage. So there, that's a product that's interesting. And then there's a product called takeoff Ls that we've utilized that's a stress mitigator would be something we could recommend to help growers try to increase.

John Gibson (36:08):

Troy. That's a great list of yield enhancing things that happen during the season, whether you're monitoring them and making in-season decisions or you're looking at yield potential in season. I still think the people that start with the basics that are going to block, block and tackle really well and then know when to call the right play and maybe add these yield enhancing things are the ones that are looking to get to the next level. I mean back to one of the things you hit on earlier was nutrient efficiency. Trying to have a great nutrient management plan up front, place your seed efficiently to follow that plan, utilize a great crop protection plan to protect that yield all season long. If you've checked those boxes, then you can come in, we can have conversations about, hey, let's optimize this. Let's take it to the next level.

Troy Jenkins (36:53):

Yeah, absolutely John. You're right. And if you take a grower that starts out and has a unsynchronized weed control system where he is not going in with a residual and following in with a timely foliar post to clean up the weeds, I can't get you what you want with a yield on or an avita or a nutrition or I forget it, that's not going to happen. I can't have weeds and removing the nutrition and slowing the crop down or I'm never going to get the value out of the other thing. So it it's 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. It's all the little things done from the beginning to that end that really make the big difference.

Morgan Seger (37:33):

So with the soybeans and getting the rest of the nitrogen, you're saying that in VITA might help close the gap or what are you saying to applying that

Troy Jenkins (37:41):

Nitrogen? I'm saying that the in vita system has got some data we've looked at that look, looks like it could help a soybean plant produce that nitrogen through nitrogen fixation through the air back into the leaves to help it finish off on that nitrogen that it wants to get. That what happens with the soybean plant is that as you get towards, as you get late in the season, the nodules basically only have a life period of about 30 to five, 40 days they begin to die and slump off and die off. But when you get late in the season, the soils begin get dry. They don't reproduce. And so that's the reason why we talk about soybeans produce about 60, 65% of their NI nitrogen from Nodulation, but then they have to rely on somewhere else to finish. Okay, well a soybean plant and a soil growing that's maybe very nutrient rich from an organic matter standpoint and releasing nitrogen through organic and then mineralized might not have a problem with getting that extra end.

Troy Jenkins (38:42):

But if I'm growing a soybean plant on it, any type of a soil that's lone organic matter, I don't care if it's a timber soil that's a silty Clay Lo, or if it's a clay lo or if it's a sand and they have low organic batter, 2% or less, they're not going to get that nitrogen from organic batter. It's not going to happen. So maybe making one of these foliar applications of these products that biological can help that plant in the cells take nitrogen out of the atmosphere and bring it back into the leaf and then move it in the plant. It's pretty exciting really,

John Gibson (39:17):

Especially late season when we're trying to finish grain fill or hold onto pods and seeds.

Morgan Seger (39:23):

Is that why we always say we need August rains cuz they can't pull the nitrogen without soil

Troy Jenkins (39:27):

Moisture? Correct. Exactly. Well, there's another thing too. You just gotta remember that everything with a soybean plant depends on the canopy and that's the canopy begins to die. And this is called senescence. And you see this in the field, it turns yellow, it's eating itself alive. So we always tell farmers that the longer the canopy stays green, the better the yield potential is. Okay. And then they scream at us and tell us, my beans are green and ropy and I don't like it. Well, that's the trade off. That's the trade off. When the beans stay alive longer, it means they're producing more nitrogen or moving more nitrogen and performing more photosynthesis for more nutrition back to the pot in the seed. When you drive across the countryside and you see the knobs and they're turning yellow and you see the depressions and they're grain, that's because the knobs ran outta water late season and the depressions are green cuz they had plenty of moisture and they've got more organic matter.

Troy Jenkins (40:22):

So they're given the beam more nitrogen to organic matter. So that's what's happening is just the environment the plant's under. So as Dr. Castile says at Purdue University, you have to do everything that you can't preserve the green tissue in the bottom part of the canopy. You've got to keep it because this is interesting. The leaf, the leaflet, the trifoliate leaflet at the, where the pod sets at and the leaf below it are the only two leafs that are basically feeding that pod set. So if you lose that trifoliate leaf set where the pod sets, it's done. No more nutrition going to that pod. So we gotta keep as much nutrition. And you do that by keeping the lower part of the canopy green and alive. And that's through using things like fungicides, it's using insecticides, it's using good plant nutrition, foliar feeding to try to keep it going and hopefully maybe this system we'll, once again, this is brand new stuff. So that's what I'm throwing at you. This is not like hardcore proven, I'm just throwing at you some of the It is. Yeah, yeah,

John Gibson (41:28):

Yeah. We have trials out of some of these products this year in 22 that we should have more of a feel from a real life standpoint, field size trials, our agronomists do a great job of working with the sellers to capture all of that and do data analysis on it so that we have good data or at least the best data we can have from having infield trials. And then they do a great job of summarizing that by region or as a whole within Ceres and then sharing that back internally with our sellers to take back to the market in their area. So our agronomists do a fantastic job of capturing it reviewing it, making sure it is quality and then putting it back into a form where we can share it to where it makes sense and it's summarized. It's not cumbersome to look at,

Troy Jenkins (42:12):

Right? Yeah. So one of the things when we talk about sharing data, when we bring it in we're really, really close to the chest on what we do with our data and our farmer names on the data. That's something we don't do. I send data whenever I get data that comes in. I do a lot of the yield crunching of data, I do a lot of the treatment analysis stuff, and when I get data from one of my sellers, I send it back to them for their grower. They can take that out there and work with that grower one-on-one, but if I put the data into a package to look at a whole data package, there's no names on it. We don't want names on that data because that's something that they consider to be private and we want to keep that private.

Morgan Seger (42:54):

Thank you so much for spending time with us and walking us through all

Morgan Seger (42:58):

Of that. Thanks for tuning in to another episode of Field Points, and thank you, Troy for sharing all of those great insights from last growing season and what to be thinking about going into 2023. As we mentioned, Ceres Solutions is so fortunate to have three full-time agronomist working across the territory. These agronomists work hard to share insights throughout the entire growing season, and you can have access to those insights directly. If you go to Ceres dot co-op and go to our agronomy section, you can click on Insights to subscribe.

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