Monsanto Ground Breakers participants gather for training
Farmers and seed dealers from major U.S. crop production regions recently gathered in St. Louis and Peoria, Ill. for “Monsanto Ground Breakers Week.” The nearly 250 farmers in attendance are part of Monsanto’s on-farm trial program, Ground Breakers, experiencing two new innovations from Monsanto: Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System, and FieldScripts.
At the events, farmers participated in educational sessions in advance of Monsanto’s Ground Breakers Field Trials Under Permit program for the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System for soybeans and Ground Breakers FieldScripts, a corn hybrid recommendation and variable-rate-seeding prescription that can help maximize yield potential. Pending regulatory approvals, the Monsanto Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System will be available for soybeans with limited supplies in 2014. FieldScripts also will be available in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Minnesota in the Dekalb seed brand in 2014.
The Monsanto Ground Breakers program engages farmers in an additional phase of on-farm testing prior to the commercialization of new technologies. Dale Sorensen, key customer lead for Integrated Farming Systems at Monsanto, describes the value the program provides, “The Ground Breakers program gives select farmers first-hand experience with our newest technologies on their farm, and it provides an additional year of on-farm results so growers can be confident Monsanto’s products have been well tested in real-world growing conditions,” he said.
The Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System is intended to bring growers more consistency and improved weed control, especially tough-to-manage and glyphosate-resistant weeds. FieldScripts technology leverages innovations in hybrid performance research, data analysis and precision equipment to deliver and execute a variable rate seeding prescription that can help maximize yield potential across soil variations. FieldScripts represents the first offering from Monsanto’s Integrated Farming Systems (IFS) – a research and development platform dedicated to integrating Monsanto’s expertise in seed science, field science, data analysis, precision equipment and customer service.
Roundup Ready 2 Xtend Soybeans
“The Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System represents an exciting product innovation Monsanto is bringing to farmers in the coming season,” said Michelle Vigna, Monsanto’s Roundup Ready Xtend System launch manager. “During Ground Breakers Week we sought input from our Ground Breakers farmers and shared with them product knowledge prior to tractors and sprayers entering the field for the 2013 spring planting season.”
Darren Brown, soybean seed production grower for Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans in the Missouri Bootheel and a Monsanto Ground Breakers program farmer, notes “Weed control with the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System was excellent last year, and we have resistant weeds here.”
More information on the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System – including Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans, Roundup Xtend and XtendiMax herbicides, and the Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton product that will provide growers with glyphosate, glufosinate and dicamba tolerance – can be found at www.RoundupReadyPLUS.com. There, farmers can also find detailed information about stewardship requirements and access videos featuring the system in action.
Dave Rhylander, Monsanto’s FieldScripts marketing lead, points out that FieldScripts represents a new area of innovation for Monsanto that brings together the science of the seed with more precise equipment and tailored agronomic practices to help maximize yield potential for farmers. “Twenty years from now, when people are reflecting on breakthroughs in agriculture, our partners will have the satisfaction of knowing that the roots of these breakthroughs trace back to what Ground Breakers farmers did in the 2013 growing season,” he said.
Iowa farmer Tim Couser attended the FieldScripts Ground Breakers meeting and agrees this will be a significant innovation for farmers. “Up until this point there has not been one single good way to make a variable rate prescription map,” he said. “The thing Monsanto has going for it is they have all this information on a hybrid and how it responds in a particular environment and population. And before, the grower never had that information.”
For more information on FieldScripts, visit www.dekalb.com/FieldScripts.
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