Crop Tech

March 4, 2017 02:26 AM

AgPro Product of the Year


Farm Journal sister magazine AgPro recently named Nutrio from Wilbur Ellis company the New Product of the Year based on editorial staff evaluations and reader votes. The lineup of microbial products beat the competition in terms of market potential, uniqueness, publicity and industry excitement.

Nutrio features seven beneficial microbial strands. Wilbur Ellis has tested the products across multiple locations with third-party researchers for three years and says it saw an average 8.1% yield increase with the products.

Nutrio microbials help increase the availability of nutrients locked up in organic matter. The products help break down organic compounds into forms plants can use.

For more details, visit

Seed Treatments Boost Crop Health

Farmers have access to three new seed treatments by Nufarm Americas: the Spirato product line, Sativa IMF Sembolite MAX and Salient 372 FS.

Spirato seed treatments offer three premixes: Spirato M 185 FS with fungicides fludioxonil and metalaxyl; Spirato MTm 285 FS with fungicides fludioxonil and metalaxyl plus thiophanate-methyl; and Spirato IMTm 348 FS with fludioxonil, metalaxyl and thiophanate-methyl fungicides plus an insecticide. The premixes can be used on soybeans, rice, cotton and more.

Sativa IMF Sembolite MAX protects cereal crop seed and seedling plants against diseases such as Aspergillus, Penicillium, Rhizoctonia, Fusarium and Pythium.

Salient 372 FS, active ingredient difenoconazole, provides cereals, cotton and corn preventative and curative seed and soil disease protection. 

Visit for more information. 

New Palmer Amaranth Seed Test


In the past few years, Palmer amaranth has snuck into Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota and Ohio fields in an unexpected way: through CRP and native plantings. To prevent the weed from getting into the professional seed supply, researchers created a DNA test to identify the seed before it reaches the farm.

The DNA test is created by the California Department of Food and Agriculture and Eurofins BioDiagnostics, with support from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Plant Protection Division Seed Program. The test successfully differentiates Palmer amaranth DNA from other amaranth and weed species. 

“This new test will provide companies and their customers with an additional tool to ensure purity,” says Andrew LaVigne, American Seed Trade Association president and CEO.

Minnesota has approved the DNA test for seed bag labels, but it’s only available on a limited basis. If farmers identify Palmer amaranth or suspicious weeds in CRP or native seed plantings, they should contact their seed supplier or a Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency or Extension agent.

Natural Trait Increases Corn Yield Up to 50%

This year, Agricomseeds is offering its first natural corn trait focused on increasing yield. Leadgrain, the new trait, uses multiple genes to more than double ovules at the cob matrix, which leads to ear expansion for more kernels per plant.

Discovery and development of natural non-GMO traits is different from producing transgenic traits. Instead of inserting desired traits or changes, improvements must be achieved through crosses and breeding. Agricomseeds worked on Leadgrain for 12 years prior to launch.

The company says Leadgrain increases corn yield 35% to 50%. Farmers can plant Leadgrain in areas with high temperature stress at populations as low as 24,000 plants per acre. Typical recommendations increase populations to 30,000 plants per acre during heat stress. 

Visit for additional information.

Farmers File Class Action Against Monsanto Claiming Dicamba Drift Damage

Farmers from 10 states are eligible to join a potential class action against Monsanto for alleged dicamba drift damage. States include Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.


“They are among the hundreds of farmers throughout the nation who have been victimized by Monsanto’s defective Xtend seed system and its purchasers’ inevitable use of dicamba, a drift-prone herbicide that has wiped out hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland in the U.S.,” the complaint states.

Plaintiffs claim Monsanto willfully and negligently released the Roundup Ready 2 Xtend cropping system without an accompanying, EPA-approved herbicide. Some farmers who planted those crops sprayed non-approved herbicides such as Clarity or Banvel that damaged neighboring crops. The lawsuit claims Monsanto is responsible for the off-label dicamba spraying.

“The number of acres affected last year is over 200,000,” says Bev Randles, attorney in charge of the lawsuit. 

Monsanto disagrees with the claims. “This baseless lawsuit seeks an unprecedented expansion of the law by attempting to impose liability on a company that did not make the product that allegedly caused the damage, did not sell the product that allegedly caused the damage, and, in fact, warned against the very use of the product alleged in the complaint,” the company said in an emailed statement. “This suit is an attempt to shift responsibility away from individuals who knowingly and intentionally broke state and federal law.”

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Missouri, case number 1:17-CV-00020.

New Technique to Develop Crop Protection Products


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. 

The product, BioClay, is a spray that provides plants with virus protection for at least 20 days after application. When plants are sprayed, they react as if they are under attack by a pest or disease and turn on their protective mechanisms.

This research also overcomes the instability of “naked” RNAs. Loading RNAs onto clay nanoparticles means they don’t wash off and allows them to be released over an extended period of time before degradation.

Nano technology is most commonly used in developing human drugs. Researchers say this new agricultural use provides several advantages over chemical alternatives. BioClay is nontoxic and biodegradable which can provide fewer environmental and human health risks. Additionally it is highly targeted toward specific plant pathogens to protect crops.

Reduce Nitrogen Leaching

Actagro, LLC recently launched Proximus to help manage liquid nitrogen and reduce leaching by increasing the natural microbial populations within the soil. Derived from the Nutri-Guard Technology Platform, it claims to provide three critical benefits:

  • Reduces leaching up to 69% by helping nitrogen stay in the soil in a readily available form
  • Increases nitrogen use efficiency by up to 23% by keeping the nitrogen where plants can access it
  • Boosts yield up to 15% because more available nitrogen typically leads to higher yields

Proximus will be available in limited U.S. markets for the 2017 growing season. For more information, visit

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