Researchers at the University of Surrey and the University of Queensland have found a new way to create crop protection products that doesn’t involve synthetic chemicals or genetically modified crops. By combining clay nanoparticles with designer RNAs, researchers are able to silence specific plant genes.
With farmer and regulator eyes turned toward the two companies, Bayer and Monsanto technology leads on Thursday repeated their confidence the merger will close by the end of 2017. The companies need approval from regulatory authorities in 30 countries.
“We’ve submitted information to 20 and everything is on track,” said Adrian Percy, head of research and development at Bayer CropScience during a press conference at Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas.
Weigh the pros and cons of at-home treatment before making the investment
Just 2" beneath the soil lies the pea-sized keys to your future—seeds. Many farmers are turning to seed treatments to get their crop off to the right start, but in years when wallets are thin does this additional cost make the cut?
In soybeans, treatment accounts for $12 to $15 of additional cost. Tight margins in 2016 led Illinois farmer Dale Pitstick and a handful of other farmers to gather materials and begin treating their own soybean seeds.
Tips for conventional and no-till seedbed establishment
You only get one chance to give your crop the right start, so it’s important to understand how previous tillage and crops impact seed’s access to soil. While crop residue breaks down to provide additional nutrients, it can also impede seed success if not managed correctly.
“There are four key risks we identified associated with residue at planting: reduced seed-to-soil contact, physical impedance of emergence, nutrient tie up and slower soil warm up,” says Pauley Bradley, John Deere product manager.
Whether you’re buying your first bag of seed or finishing up 2017’s order, hasty decisions can result in less than desirable yields. “The thing about the seed decision is you can’t make it in a vacuum,” says Jeff Hartz, communication manager at Wyffels Hybrids. “A lot of other decisions are locked in with it, so it’s important to get it right.”
Here are some important considerations to ponder while selecting seed.
You might pay more than others if your seed choice benefits you more, companies say
The farm community is buzzing with farmers’ new-found ability to see what their neighbors pay for the same bag of seed, thanks to a few companies, such as Farmers Business Network and Granular. Many farmers are fueling their seed decisions based on this new information. At the same time, seed companies warn it’s critical farmers have all the facts to ensure they’re truly comparing “apples to apples” before deciding where to spend their seed investment next season.
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