BOONE, IOWA—The Farm Progress Show kicked off on Tuesday with editors and broadcasters digging for information and listening to officials of some of the more than 600 exhibitors explain their products and services. The Farm Progress Show has become the mid-year news gathering site for the media with the other biggest agricultural news event being Commodity Classic held each February.

Koch Agronomic Services had the earliest crowd of media starting at 7:15 a.m. as the company had Fred Below, Ph.D., and Adam Henninger, graduate student, with University of Illinois talk about the Seven Wonders of the Corn Yield World. They explained how more than one-half of the yield comes from interaction of weather and nitrogen and then interaction with the other five wonders of yield accounting for the remaining short half of total yield—hybrid selection, previous crop in the field, plant population planted, tillage system and growth regulators.

Jeff Doran with Planalytics provided a three-month outlook for the weather and reminding everyone that farmers need to plan based on an average of years’ weather rather than what happened last year. He said only one out of five times will two years have the same weather pattern back to back.

Koch Industries officials talked about the company’s research and development for new fertilizer products, which includes working with 25 land grant university researchers. An emphasis is crop efficiency in nutrient uptake, especially nitrogen.

Mid-day’s media event at the Farm Progress Show was conducted by Bayer CropScience. High level speakers from the company spoke for about five minutes each to provide insight into the company’s marketing and research.

Speakers were Harry Strek, head of profiling and marketing support, herbicide research; Brian Vande Berg, trait research manager, corn; David Hollinrake, vice-president, agricultural commercial operations marketing; Inci Dannenberg, vice-president, commercial operations; and Beth Roden, director of communications.

The biggest news came from the crop trait research and development. The pipeline is filling with new potential products for registration within two to ten years from today. The answers for crops to fight insects, allow herbicide tolerance and improve nutrient efficiency will all be “multi-trait stacks.” One of the biggest examples is the development of three new traits to control damage from Western corn rootworms. Crop herbicide tolerance trait stacking will bring Liberty Link, HPPD and glyphosate resistance together.

During a stop at the Valent booth, Dawn Refsell, field market development specialist, explained that corn fields harvested early this fall, will leave fields susceptible to weed growth but it could be too early to apply a residual herbicide to keep fields clean going into next spring. She explained a burndown non-residual herbicide followed by the residual later in the fall makes sense with current weather.

Kinze Manufacturing had its driverless technology tractor and grain cart combination on display but isn’t ready to talk about the next step in developing additional equipment or marketing this revolutionary technology. Company spokesmen explained an announcement is forthcoming in the near future.

The media will remain under siege to hear company messages on Wednesday with Dow AgroSciences and Syngenta doing the biggest promotions.