30 May The Yield Gap Survey
What sets bumper fields apart from the low yielding neighbors? It’s crop protection during pod set.
Were you one of the thousands of Midwest and North Central growers who filled out soybean production Yield Gap Survey1 between 2014 and 2017? If so you might remember being asked about your variety and trait packages, fertilizers, the drill’s row spacing settings, tillage practices, and so on.
If you are in big soybean country and didn’t get the survey, you can rest assured that plenty of folks with similar rainfall and soil type responded. When researchers plugged all the information into a program they worked out what inputs separated high and low yielding fields.
The Yield Gap Survey showed early planting was one of the most consistent and important factors between high an low yielding fields. We’ve explored the benefits of early planting, and most Midwest and North Central growers already routinely hit a May planting date with weather permitting. But the bulls-eye planting date for most regions seems to be within the first two weeks of May.
What’s more, the Yield Gap Survey showed that an application of fungicide or insecticide mattered across more regions and production situations than even an early planting date. Some growers already know well that foliar applications set apart high yielding fields from low ones, but this study showed it works across nearly the entire soy belt. It turns out fields that got a spray treatment were more likely to have average yields upwards of 12 bushels per acre higher, in dryland and irrigated situations.
Through the yield gap report1 you might have showed your neighbors how to get the most out of their fields. Back at the office, you’re probably fine tuning your budget and creating a marketing plan that fits your operation. At only $5+ per acre and compatible with major fungicides, Fortalis fits easily into most management plans. And if it’s a wet spring, you know that a pod set application of Fortalis plus fungicide is an effective way to recover from a late planting date and still win at the bin. Add Fortalis in with the fungicide and get a further yield enhancement.
Rigorous trialwork by independent research consultants has shown Fortalis + fungicide boosts yield by 4.2 bu/a, 1.4bu/a of that is due to Fortalis. It’s not easy to see the extra pods from the road but you’ll notice it on the harvest monitor.
John Gottula is an agricultural scientist dedicated to the idea that innovation cultivates prosperity.
1 Patricio Grassini, Shawn P. Conley, Juan Ignacio Rattalino Edreira, Jose Andrade, Spyridon Mourtzinis, Adam Roth, Shaun Casteel, Ignacio Ciampitti, Hans Kandel, Peter Kyveryga, Mark Licht, Laura Lindsey, Daren Mueller, Emerson Nafziger, Seth Naeve and Michael Staton. Benchmarking soybean production systems in the North Central States. 2019. Accessed online 02-May-19 at: <https://cropwatch.unl.edu/2019-CW-News/2019-documents/Soybean/2019_Soybean_Benchmarking_ReviewFinal.pdf>