The Iowa Soybean Association's On-Farm Network recently assigned territories to its field research specialists to improve efficiency and service to farmers. Tristan Mueller, On-Farm Network operation manager for agronomic research, says by dividing the state into three quadrants -- northwest, northeast and south -- staff members become more familiar with growers and agronomic conditions in their assigned area. Farmers participating in 2014 On-Farm Network Replicated Strip Trials can contact their designated research specialist more easily when they have questions.
"Now the same research specialists can focus on the same growers year after year, and establish more personal relationships," Mueller says. "Research specialists will get a deeper understanding of what practices farmers are interested in and learn about their equipment and capabilities."
Establishing territories will help On-Farm Network grow
On-Farm Network research specialist Rich Stessman is assigned to the northwest corner of Iowa, basically west of Interstate 35 and north of U.S. Highway 30. Anthony Martin covers northeast Iowa, predominantly east of Interstate 35 and north of U.S. Highway 30. Brett McArtor will work with growers mostly south of U.S. Highway 30.
Mueller says the move to having specific territories will mitigate redundancy, offer clarity to growers regarding trials and reduce staff travel time. Ultimately, the change will allow the On-Farm Network to grow, he says. "This will improve the efficiency, outreach and quality of our trials."
Choose a trial you want to have on your farm in 2014
The On-Farm Network has a wide variety of replicated strip trials available that farmers can sign up for this year including:
Lime: The On-Farm Network is looking for fields that have areas with soil pH values less than 6.0 and no lime applied in the last four years to test SuperCal 98G, a pelletized lime product from Calcium Products Inc. Yield data from replicated strips of SuperCal 98G will be compared to untreated checks. In addition to yield, 18 targeted soil samples (nine from each treatment) will be compared before the SuperCal 98G application and annually each year (pending future project funding). This project is limited to 20 sites, so sign up ASAP because this project is filling up fast.
Seed treatments: Clariva Complete is the latest nematicide seed treatment from Syngenta. It will be compared to Cruiser Maxx plus Vibrance on soybeans. The treated seed used in each of these trials (10 bags Asgrow 2433 with each treatment, 20 total bags) will be provided. Farmers interested in these trials need to commit fields by April 15 so SCN samples can be collected. This is a collaborative project with Iowa State University. There's also another joint ISU project with Valent's new fungicide seed treatment—INTEGO. This project targets southern Iowa. Ten bags of Asgrow 3231 treated with the INTEGO Suite and 10 bags treated with INOVATE seed protectant will be provided.
Soil applied insecticide: With corn rootworm pressure increasing on traited hybrids this may be one option to consider. Any of the granular soil applied insecticides from AMVAC qualify for this trial such as Aztec, SmartChoice, Counter or Force 3G. The sponsor is AMVAC.
Fungicide: The On-Farm Network and ISU are looking for 20 fields to be planted to soybeans for fungicide trials. Ten of the locations will have a weather monitor close to the field to see if specific weather contributes to when using a fungicide will be profitable. The 10 sites with weather monitors will be sprayed with Priaxor and Fastac from BASF. Multiple aerial images will be taken, so boundaries will need to be set by planting. Other products that can be used in these trials are Tetraconazole plus αβPro from Arysta LifeScience or Stratego YLD from Bayer. For corn fungicides Astera plus αβPro or Stratego YLD at V5 are options.
Nitrogen: A wide range of nitrogen trials are available with the On-Farm Network. Some of the topics that could be tested are rate, form (including manure), timing, placement, stabilizers, or sensors. The links are just some of the example protocols that are possible.
Herbicide: Fierce is a broad spectrum soybean herbicide. This trial will compare Fierce as a preplant or pre-emerge compared to the farmer's normal herbicide practice.
Biostimulant/Plant Growth Regulators (PGRs): Trials will study RyzUp on corn from Valent, Energy plus Sugar Power on soybeans from Stoller and Vitazyme on soybeans from Vital Earth. All PGRs or biostimulants are applied at the early V stages.
Cover Crops: This practice continues to be an important topic, thanks to the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. This coming fall, the On-Farm Network will again be looking to do trials with farmers concerning cover crops.
Farmers interested in participating in trials can sign up online at the On-Farm Network website. Or, growers can contact Stessman at 515-333-8760 or [email protected]; Martin at 319-461-0759 or [email protected] or McArtor at 319-594-2417 or [email protected]. Farmers can search the On-Farm Network's Replicated Strip Trial Database for past results. Information regarding a number of trials ranging from cover crops and planting population to fungicides and insecticides are available. The database includes a return on investment calculator.