In early 2017, Beck’s Practical Farm Research (PFR)® team introduced the concept of PFR Proven™, a collection of products and practices that have consistently achieved higher yields and increased return on investment.
As wheat harvest came in for 2017, Beck’s PFR team evaluated the data to identify any new PFR Proven products or practices for wheat. Two practices that were clearly PFR Proven for 2017 were split nitrogen (N) applications and fungicide applications at flowering.
One question that is asked a lot is what is the best way to apply N on wheat acres. What Beck’s PFR team has observed is that, regardless of the source of N applied, split applications pay. Some of the benefits of split applications include increased yield, increased N efficiency, and the potential for lower environmental losses.
Similar to split applying N applications on corn, split applying on wheat splits the risk. The split application allows N to be applied closer to the physiological stage where the plant will take up the N. With this being the case, farmers can likely expect a greater portion of applied N to be utilized, thereby improving N use efficiency
Six-year, multi-location data from Beck’s PFR sites has shown that split applying UAN at Feekes 3 and Feekes 5 has provided an average increase in return on investment (ROI) of $17.24/A. over a single application.
6-Year, Multi-Location Return on Investment for Split Applications of UAN
Split applying urea has provided increased returns as well. In fact, over the same six-year period, split applications provided an average ROI increase of $22.13/A. Similar to the UAN study, these applications were also made during Feekes 3 and Feekes 5.
6-Year, Multi-Location Return on Investment for Split Applications of Urea
With six years of solid data favoring split applications of UAN and urea, this practice was given the PFR Proven™ stamp in 2017.
Another practice Beck’s PFR team has observed to pay off in wheat is applying fungicide at Feekes 10.5.1 or flowering. This growth stage typically begins 1.5 to 2 weeks following flag leaf ligule visibility and lasts, on average, up to five days. Fungicide applications at this growth stage are most often applied to target Fusarium head scab, as flowering is when the earliest onset of this disease has been observed. Fusarium head scab has shown to result in yield losses of up to 45 percent, so applications at this timing are crucial. However, we have also seen yield gains with this PFR Proven practice, even in the absence of Fusarium head scab disease pressure.
To date, the three fungicide products labeled as PFR Proven in wheat are Palisade® EC, Caramba®, and Prosaro® 421 SC.
If you have any questions about these PFR Proven products or practices, please contact your local Beck’s representative.
Alex Knight | PFR Agronomist and Data Manager
Practical Farm Research (PFR)® and PFR Proven™ are trademarks of Beck’s Superior Hybrids, Inc. PFR Proven™ was developed in 2016 to identify the products and practices that are likely to be most profitable. If a product has been tested in PFR and found to provide yield gains and averages a positive ROI over a minimum of three years, then that product will earn the status of PFR Proven and should be something to consider trying on your farm. If a practices has been tested in PFR and found to be the most profitable, then it will also receive the status of PFR Proven. Please consult with your local Beck’s representative or trusted advisor for best management practices in your area. Palisade® is a registered trademark of a Syngenta Group Company. Caramba® is a registered trademark of BASF. Prosaro® is a registered trademark of Bayer.