View from the Cab: Looking ahead

A local seed meeting shown last week in Fairbury / CIFN photo.

By: Kent Casson

While we may not have a crystal ball into the future of farm prices, we do have an idea of what’s coming from a seed standpoint.

Stone Seed technical agronomist Robert Clark is looking ahead to the future of the corn industry and there is some excitement.

“I think we’ve got some exciting trait launches coming,” Clark told me at a local ag meeting last week.

SmartStax Pro is a recent trait approved in January which brings the next generation of corn rootworm technology to the market. This is essentially SmartStax with a third mode of action for below ground protection. Clark anticipates improved genetics moving forward in 2022 and beyond.

“We are going to have some opportunities to look at the trait (this year),” Clark said.

Another product of the future is short stature corn which offers a transformational shift in production. This can lead to reduced crop loss and precision of crop input applications. Many growers experienced challenges with wind last year and this corn can withstand several weather events well. Plus, it may not require quite the same amount of nitrogen.

“There are a lot of interesting concepts about it,” Clark noted.

Expect to see more of this corn out there in the next couple of years.

Clark is excited about two of his company’s products coming out on the corn side. A new 111-day SmartStax is in plots this year and a new 113-day corn is coming as well. This is one Stone hopes to replace 6368 with down the road. This one outperformed other hybrids it was tested against.

Some new soybean options this year include the new XtendiFlex beans.

How about that taste of spring weather last week? It may have been windy, but it sure was nice to see the sun and milder temperatures. I think many farmers got the spring fieldwork itch but we all must remember it is only the middle of March. This is a good time to fine-tune the equipment like planters before problems arise out in the field on opening day.

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