Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pop Quiz

I have 5 samples of Pioneer grain corn that have been analyzed for vomitoxin.

If you can correctly identify the sample with the lowest vomitoxin and the sample with the highest vomitoxin, you will win a new Pioneer hat.
For bonus marks and two hats, rank them in order from lowest to highest.

Answers will be posted on Wednesday morning this week. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A TSN Turning Point

Pioneer will be announcing today a new development in the soybean patent arena.  The Canadian Patent Office has granted new pending patents to Pioneer based on the unique nature of their soybean breeding program.  I believe this is worth repeating, the unique nature of their soybean breeding program.

What this means is new varieties developed by Pioneer will be covered under Canadian patent law.  Keeping seed back to grow the following year will be illegal.  This includes new varieties with the RR1 gene. 

Pioneer currently has strong language on the seed tag stipulating one year use only, but this patent development strengthens their position.

This decision by the Patent Office is a first in Canada where patents will be extended on a variety to variety basis.

The corporate explanation can be found at

The majority of Pioneer's competitors in the RR soybean seed game have adopted the RR2 gene as their answer to keeping their varieties protected from being bin run.   Information has aready been circulated that famers will be able to bin run varieties containing the RR1 gene.  This is now incorrect.

Pioneer has always taken the position that a single gene does not make a good variety by itself.  It is the sum of many genes that make a superior soybean variety.    

The Canadian Patent Office has agreed with Pioneer. 

Pioneer has a strong value offer that I have communicated to my customers.  This development will guarantee new investment and new improved genetics continue to arrive at the farm gate. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Curtis & Ron Drop to 2nd Place

I gave some credit last week to fellow Pioneer reps Curtis & Ron for some P98555HR that yielded 246.6 bu.  Looked good at the time.

On Monday they lost the title to Gerald Kodde, a customer of mine, whose plot of P0474HR yielded 246.9 bu /acre

The P0216HR was OK too.  It yielded 242.3 bu/acre.

The P9760HR was a measly 233.3 bu/acre.

In fact, the plot average across 9 hybrids was 235 bu/acre.  Each strip was 2/3 of an acre, the full length of the field.  In 26 years in the corn business, this is the highest yielding location I have ever witnessed.
The question Gerald asked was "Where did this corn come from?" 

There is only one good explanation.  Keep going to church, Gerald.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Gibberella Ear Mould 101

I wrote about the possibility of Gibberella ear mould being an issue on September 6, hoping I was going to be wrong.  I hate writing about problems, but Gibberella is showing up consistently throughout the neighbourhood.  Based on discussions with customers, it is time for a Gibberella primer lesson.

1.  The organism, Fusarium graminearum, is the same pathogen that causes Fusarium head blight in wheat.   Wheat harvest, which causes clouds of spores to spread, coincides nicely with silking time in corn.  After infection through the silk channel, the disease lurks at the tip of the developing kernel where it meets the cob.  If wet, moderate conditions persist, it will grow and mature into a toxin producing pain for the Ontario corn farmer.

2. Current status of samples submitted to labs to date indicate 60% of those samples have 0-2% Vomitoxin and 30% have 4-6% vomitoxin.  The hot spots seem to run from Elgin, north through Middlesex, into Huron and Perth.  As harvest is delayed, the problem will get worse. 

3. Proper procedures for sampling would include doing your best to accumulate a representative sample.  Taking sub samples from more than one spot and mixing them is best.  Use cloth or onion skin bags.  Do not use plastic bags because plastic will sweat.  Samples need to be taken to the lab immediately or frozen. 

4. The livestock industry has experience with managing of corn containing toxins.  Corn should be screened to take out fines and red dog, which contain the highest levels of toxins.  Dry corn down to 13% at high temperatures.  Drying corn is the only way to stop the toxins from getting worse.  Aerate well to eliminate hot spots.  Toxin inhibitors and binding agents are helpful for producers that are feeding contaminated corn.

5.  It is not the amount of toxin in the corn, but the amount of toxin that is in the finished ration.  Dilution is the solution.  Adding protein supplements, minerals and premixes help reduce the overall toxin concentration in the final ration.  Be careful using distillers grain in a ration because the distilling process will concentrate toxins.

Friday, October 21, 2011

"Y" Pioneer is Here

My post about 92Y12 soybeans yielding 72 bu prompted more than a few inquiries.

92Y12 is not for everyone, due to its 3050 HU rating.  We are on the northern edge of it's adaptability and need to learn more.  Looking at some early Pioneer yield summaries, 92Y12 is head and shoulders above other varieties.  I firmly believe if it is planted late April to early May it will work for some of us.

Pioneer has been promoting the value in "Y" series beans for several years.  There are three other new "Y" varieties that yielded well with a lower maturity risk.

91Y61 yielded 65.4 bu.
2925 HU

91Y41 yielded 66.8 bu.
2875 HU

90Y90 yielded 62.4 bu.
2750 HU

"Y" is definitely here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Curtis and Ron Join the Club

Fellow Pioneer Reps, Curtis Gartly and Ron Murrell took their corn plot off this week near Thorndale.  Some more impressive numbers.

P9855HR planted May 10 was the best of the bunch pumping out 246.6 bu/acre at 24.9 % moisture. 

A new hybrid we are watching, P9760HR was a respectable 233.4 bu at 23.5 %.

One plot does not make a trend, but it is a good start and we will keep you posted. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Old Man's Turn

This past summer, Brian had an impressive yield performance from 25R26 soft red wheat, running 127 bu/acre.

This past Sunday, 92Y12 soybeans yielded 72 bu/acre at 12.7 moisture on my farm.   
I am old enough to remember when wheat yielded 72 bu and corn 127 bu.  My hat is off to a lot of smart breeders for giving us varieties that pack a punch.
Morris Sagriff, our agronomist has been pounding on me that we are growing soybean varieties that are too early.  We are giving up too much yield and worrying too much about getting wheat planted, according to Mo.
Our results are giving Morris some ammunition.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Our New Toy

Our new bulk seed tender made it's maiden voyages this week, delivering bulk wheat seed direct to customers. 

Brian really likes shiny new stuff.  When I put the first scratch on it I will never hear the end of it. 
Customers have liked it too.  Speaking of customers, you guys need to come up with a better line than "I guess my Pioneer rep is making too much money".