Healthy plants and BASF portfolio yield success for Cullers
There's a saying that you might have heard: "Don't expect to achieve anything new today by repeating the same old routine you used yesterday."
It's that willingness to innovate that Kip Cullers, the world soybean-yield champion, takes to heart. It's not that Cullers is willing to try every new trend out there. It's that he has a singular focus on protecting and maximizing his yields. It's a philosophy that he applies rigorously. And if the results fly in the face of conventional thinking, so be it. The proof of this approach is the results he's achieved. Cullers, who farms near Purdy, Missouri, set the world soybean yield record again – coming in at 154.74 bu/A this year. And that's after he set the previous record in 2006. That compares to a Missouri state average yield of around 40 bu/A!
Part of his success is the willingness to try innovative products and new ideas, providing they live up to his tough standards. And he's willing to trust his experience. So part of his soybean management practices include protecting the flowers and pods of his soybean plants with Headline® fungicide and Respect® insecticide. That helps him consistently attain ultra-high yields.
Cullers has a two-pronged philosophy when it comes to raising a superior crop. "The two most important things you can do to maximize yield are to pay attention to plant genetics and to be proactive about protecting your crop from diseases and insects," says Cullers.
He carefully matches his seed genetics to the agronomics of each field. And he ensures that there's minimal stress on the plants, ensuring that the crop is focusing its energy on yield production, not on battling disease or insects.
That's where Headline and Respect come into play. Respect protects his soybean crops from insects. Headline delivers disease protection and Plant Health benefits that include better growth efficiency, improved stress tolerance and, ultimately, higher soybean and corn yields.
"A healthy plant is a happy plant," Cullers says. "And happy plants yield. Applying Headline is a key step in protecting my crops from disease and ensuring Plant Health."
In addition to setting a new world record in soybean production, Cullers was also a winner in the 2007 National Corn Yield Contest organized by the National Corn Growers Association. Here, too, he relied on Headline fungicide. In fact, the majority of the contest winners applied Headline. Plus, he used Status® herbicide to take care of tough weeds in his corn. He was very impressed with the results. "The weeds were completely gone and the corn was growing strong."
The lessons learned while setting records extend to, and benefit, his day-to-day operations. It's worth noting that even outside of his contest soybean acres, his yields almost doubled the state average. Cullers reports that the soybean yield average across his farm was over 74 bu/A and his corn yields averaged over 200 bu/A on dry-land corn. Cullers applies Headline and Respect to all his soybean acres and Headline and Status to all his corn acres on the 7,500-acre farm in southwestern Missouri.
"I've pretty much quit testing other fungicides," he says of Headline. "Why make something continue to prove itself? Nothing comes close to giving us yield benefits that outweigh the input costs like this. It's simple economics." Cullers also notes that Headline is the most researched fungicide on the market – which is what encouraged him to first try Headline a few years ago.
"It's becoming clear to me that Plant Health is a key to high yields. With Headline, I know I'm helping to get the most out of every plant," says Cullers, who also grows green beans and greens (spinach, collard, kale, mustard and turnips) on his farm.
"I'm excited to see these tremendous results again in this year's crop. With attention to detail, proactive management, the right technology and a little luck, who knows where we'll go next year," Cullers concluded.
Kip's world soybean yield record is yet another great Headline success story. Watch for the next in our series of Headline Harvest Advantage e-mails for valuable information on the benefits of applying Headline for Plant Health.
To learn more about Headline fungicide, visit the BASF homepage.
To read the latest information on Plant Health, visit our Plant Health page on AgWeb.com.
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