Key Findings From UFC's 2021 On-Farm Research

Dec 14, 2021

UFC has an extensive on-farm research program to help us better understand which seed varieties and yield promoting products work in our local environment. In 2021, we had over 170 acres dedicated to this research that tested seed treatments, foliar applied products, dry fertilizer products, and varieties/hybrids from 7 different seed brands. Our agronomists use these data-backed insights to help you make more informed decisions on your farm. Below are a few of the key findings from our results.  

Responses from Seed+ Graphite:
Seed+ Graphite is a nutritional seed treatment that is intended to replace the use of talc/graphite on your planter. Applied directly to seeds in the planter box or seed tender, Seed+ Graphite enhances seedling vigor, emergence, and overall helps mitigate abiotic stresses that many occur during the springtime. Over a 2 year period of time, we have seen pretty consistent yield responses and ROI from utilizing Seed+ Graphite on both corn and soybeans. Below are the results from our trials:

Soybeans: average yield response of 2.3 bu/ac in 2021 across 5 trials. Across 4 trials in 2020, there was an average yield response of 2.5 bu/ac. 2-year average yield response = 2.4 bu/ac, which has an ROI of $23/ac at a $11/bu selling price.
Corn: average yield response of 1.4 bu/ac in 2021 across 6 trials. Across 9 trials in 2020, there was an average  yield response of 5.4 bu/ac. 2-year average yield response = 3.8 bu/ac, which has an ROI of $16.30/ac at a $5/bu selling price.

Soybean planting date study:
For this trial, we wanted to determine the effects of planting date on soybean yield. Planting soybeans early increases the chance of maximum yield, but diseases and cold soil conditions/weather can impact yield potential. Late planted soybeans usually have reduced yield potential from the reduced amount of vegetative growth and decreased node production, which limits the number of pods per plant. Our study consisted of 3 different planting dates, and the results below show that there is a significant yield advantage to planting soybeans in a timely manner.


When planting soybeans early, it is important to use seed treatments to control diseases associated with early planting, such as Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS). Saltro, a seed treatment option for increased SDS control, has shown average yield increases of 2.8 bu/ac with April and May planted beans in 2021. However, June planted beans in 2021 only saw an average yield increase of 0.2 bu/ac in our trials. Highest responses from upgraded seed treatment options such as Saltro are seen with early planting, poorly drained soils, and fields with a history of Sudden Death Syndrome.

Responses from foliar boron:
Boron, an essential micronutrient for plant growth and development, is an important micronutrient for pollen development and kernel set in corn. For our trial, we applied 1 pint of Max In Boron at a week before tassel to allow the corn plant to uptake the boron through the leaves and influence pollen development and kernel set.  Our plot data across 3 trials shows an average yield response of 5 bu/ac, which has an ROI of $21.87/ac at a selling price of $5/bu. Boron is mobile in the soil, so it takes a combination of management strategies both pre-season and in-season to ensure season long nutrient availability, making a foliar application before tassel time beneficial.

Xyway fungicide option:
Xyway is a fungicide that is applied in-furrow at planting time, which makes this product unique. Its active ingredient, flutriafol, has the capability of being taken up from the soil and translocated throughout the plant, providing systemic control. This allows the plant to have disease protection all season long, without you having to time the correct fungicide application to get good disease control. Xyway is a great fungicide option for fields that cannot be aerial flown because of obstacles making it difficult or risky, like trees, towns/acreages, windmills, powerlines, etc.
To learn more about our on-farm research results, contact your local UFC representative.

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