Margin Minute: Crop Health Missteps Can Be Costly

August 29, 2017 09:01 AM

Producers who invested in seed treatments and fungicides took a financial gamble, but it’s paying off for many now that sudden death syndrome [SDS] is appearing in soybean fields, says Chris Barron of Ag View Solutions.

In his latest “Margin Minute” video for, he asks Dave Draker, senior customer business advisor with Bayer CropScience based in east-central Iowa, to share his observations of crop health so far this season. In his view, those who used seed treatment will see benefits while those who avoided it are likely to encounter more SDS.

“Now that we’ve got some rains and that toxin’s starting to translocate, I think we’re going to see that pathogen show up a little bit more here on top of the plants,” Draker says. “It’s tough with the cost of the bushels and grain prices, but we have to try to maximize that acre. Sometimes that is investing money in the crop, not saving money off the crop.”

Similarly, some corn producers face challenges because they failed to use the right inputs at the proper points in the growing season.

“We’re starting to see a lot of the diseases start to crop up, and it might have been a good deal to apply a fungicide then just to kind of keep stuff at bay,” Draker explains.

Crop-health decisions often tie back to costs, but it’s important to consider the value those decisions can produce at the end of the season.

“The quickest way to lower your cost of production is to increase yield,” Barron says.

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