The editors of AgProfessional announced their picks for the Editor’s Choice Top Product of the Year Awards for 2015. In its ninth year, the award program honors products the editors think are the most innovative and advanced that were introduced with the ag retailer or crop consultant in mind.

The Top 10 products were selected from the dozens of new products registered or introduced during 2015. To qualify as an award winner, the products had to be available for stocking or pre-order sales for use in the 2016 season, if they were not actually available for first-time use in 2015.

The Top 10 are products judged as innovative and showing big potential in the agricultural market, not ones that have already had high acceptance and big sales in 2015. We are not concerned about whether the product has shown financial success as yet. These are introduction products.

The top products for 2015 are:

ILeVO Seed Treatment from Bayer CropScience

LeafMon Plant Hydration Sensor System from Cermetek

Capture 3RIVE 3D In-furrow Corn Insecticide and Delivery System from FMC Corporation

2016 DTS10 Self-Propelled Applicator from Hagie Manufacturing

NL4500 G4 Edge Applicator from Highway Equipment

Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System from Monsanto

Rhyzo-Link from Nachurs

Acuron Corn Herbicide from Syngenta

Dragon-Line Drip Irrigation System from Teeter Irrigation

Solvita Field Soil Biology Test from Woods End Laboratories

It is a challenge each year to pick the products that we see as including innovative technology and marketing emphasis that will make them premier products and/or services in coming years.

Also, in considering a candidate for the Top 10, we consider the publicity the company generated and its obvious commitment to generate excitement about the product that should ultimately result in sales. We never solicit entries for the list of Top 10, but nstead we look back over the year’s worth of product announcements, promotional materials and events providing information. In the end, we rely on companies being honest in their product information and news.

The product descriptions of the Top 10 that follow are edited versions of company announcements and company website information.

Vote for the Top New Product of the Year

We want you to use the product descriptions in this announcement and voting for your choice of the 2015 Readers’ Choice New Product of the Year.

Once you have read about each of the AgProfessional Editors’ Choice New Products of 2015, then we want you to vote for your pick of which one is the ultimate top product introduced during the year in your opinion. You now have the responsibility to select the top product. 

Any reader of AgProfessional’s print and electronic/digital information products—AgProfessional magazine, “AgProfessional Weekly” e-newsletter, “Dealer Update” e-newsletter and the newly redesigned www.AgProfessional.com website—are eligible to vote.

You simply click this link to vote: http://www.agprofessional.com/news/products/2015-top-product.

You can base your vote on the information provided and your personal experience or general agricultural knowledge. Description of the products, which are appearing in the December issue of AgProfessional magazine, are available to read on the website before casting your vote.

The clock is ticking for you to vote. The deadline to vote is Jan. 8. The winner of the 2015 Readers’ Choice New Product of the Year will be announced in the February issue of AgProfessional and in all our digital communications.

Here are descriptions of each product to help you decide which should be the Readers’ Choice Top Product of 2015.

Bayer CropScience ILeVO Seed Treatment

Bayer CropScience’s ILeVO, a seed treatment that protects the root system against infections caused by the sudden death syndrome fungus, was approved in 2015. It also has activity against dangerous nematodes in the seed zone.

Until now, there was no seed treatment available to protect soybean plants against both SDS and nematodes, Bayer CropScience claims.

“Our field trials have shown that soybean seeds treated with ILeVO early in the season gives valuable yield benefit across geographies and seed varieties,” said Jennifer Riggs, Bayer SeedGrowth product development manager. “Bayer CropScience is very excited to bring the first seed treatment fungicide/nematicide solution for SDS and major nematodes to the market.”

During research and field trials from 2011-2014, ILeVO was used on 181 fields with visual symptoms of SDS. In those trials, yield benefits ranged from 4 to 10 bushels per acre over current fungicide/insecticide seed treatments. Even when visual symptoms are not present, growers could see an average yield increase of 2 bushels per acre when using ILeVO as part of an early season management approach.

SDS is a major issue in soybean-growing regions, causing massive destruction to soybean growers’ crops all across the United States. The impact on yield depends on the growth stage at the onset of symptoms, as yield losses are greater when symptoms develop in early reproductive stages. By protecting the root system early in the growth stages, specifically the seed zone, against the SDS fungus and nematodes, it allows the plant to be healthier from the start for higher yield potential. Previously, growers had limited options when it came to SDS management: seed variety tolerance and delayed planting dates. By adding ILeVO to their Integrated Pest Management (IMP) program, growers can achieve higher yields at harvest.

Cermetek LeafMon Plant Hydration Sensor System

LeafMon integrates a suite of environmental sensors, and those sensors are installed on plants selected as representative of the grower’s crop. The LeafMon unit is non-invasive and mounts to the plant without causing damage or requiring destruction of any leaves. Safeguarding the plant allows LeafMon to continuously monitor an individual plant throughout the growing season. LeafMon calculates the Crop Water Stress Index (CWSI) using a set of formulas that take into account the complex interactions of the environmental variables.

“Each test takes 15 to 20 minutes and must be done at the peak of the day for accurate results,” explained Cermetek President Henry Roskos. “LeafMon eliminates the labor-intensive special trips to the field and allows continuous monitoring without damaging the plant.”

The LeafMon technology was developed under a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant.

FMC Capture 3RIVE 3D In-Furrow Corn Insecticide and Delivery System

Capture 3RIVE 3D in-furrow corn insecticide from FMC received EPA registration for use with the new 3RIVE 3D ultra-low volume, in-furrow delivery system. The 3RIVE 3D system allows growers to treat up to 500 acres in one fill, using less than one-tenth the liquid carrier volume typically required to treat the same acreage.

Capture 3RIVE 3D insecticide, a restricted use pesticide, provides protection from corn rootworms as well as the seed and seedling insect complex including: wireworms, grubs, seedcorn maggots and cutworms. Capture 3RIVE 3D insecticide is also an excellent addition to an integrated strategy for management of Bt resistant corn rootworm.

Capture 3RIVE 3D insecticide is the first crop protection product for use with the new delivery system. FMC is working on future opportunities for combining multiple active ingredients including insecticides, fungicides and biostimulants.

The patent-pending 3RIVE 3D application system precisely combines the specially formulated crop protection product with an ultra-low volume of water and expands the mixture up to 50 times into a three-dimensional foam, providing a continuous zone of protection for the seed. Just 40 ounces of solution is applied per acre. In the case of Capture 3RIVE 3D, 8 ounces of formulated insecticide is combined with 32 ounces of water per acre for the standard corn rootworm rate.

Hagie Manufacturing 2016 DTS10 Self-Propelled Applicator

Hagie Mfg. introduced the 2016 DTS10. Designed as the next generation of applicators, this lightweight, yet rugged self-propelled sprayer delivers to the market a state-of-the-art machine designed with the capability to widen the application window and maximize productivity.

The smallest applicator within the family-owned manufacturer’s product lineup, the new 2016 DTS10 packages a high-clearance frame and 1,000-gallon solution capacity within one of the industry’s lightest weight and most well-balanced machine designs.

In recent years, Hagie Mfg. deliberated on the creation of an ultimate sprayer for the evolving industry needs of the next decade. The company noted that a machine design would definitively be encompassing of key industry drivers including weight, balance, capacity, application speed, boom width, grade ability, maneuverability, precision compatibility, safety, price and comfort.

“When evaluating the mid-sized self-propelled sprayer market, customers made clear the desire for a low weight, balanced machine that is compact and maneuverable, all while staying highly productive and lower cost than larger commercial sprayers,” said Newt Lingenfelter, senior product manager. “The 2016 DTS10 by design has a perfectly balanced, lightweight frame that carries a low center of mass, thus making it compact and easy to maneuver in tight areas. It also features many of the high-end options that in the past were only available on the larger units, such as all-wheel steer, auto fold, a premium cab, and all precision capabilities.”

Highway Equipment NL4500 G4 Edge Applicator

Highway Equipment Company (HECO), the manufacturer of New Leader crop nutrient applicators, announced the next generation of G4 dry applicator with the release of the NL4500 G4 Edge.

“Edge technology combines productivity and efficiency for operators along with precision and control, which supports the 4R’s of responsible management,” said Rocki Shepard, HECO president and CEO.

The Edge features precise boundary spreading because of independent spinner speed control with the flip of a switch; this allows operators to apply materials along a boundary line, resulting in material not going into sensitive areas. Featuring increased gate openings, the Edge with MultApplier insert can reach higher rates, application speeds and widths! A MultiBin version is also available for spreading up to four products in one pass.

The Edge is equipped with an ISOBUS system for easy “plug and play” for standardized plugs, cables and software for use with any ISOBUS-compatible controller. Also, with precision manufacturing using laser cutting technology and slot and tab design, the Edge features repeatable spinner frame, material divider and hillside divider centering.

An upgraded hydraulics system has been developed to support fast reaction time, independent spinner speed control, fast and exact conveyor control including an automatic chain tensioner. Additionally, the Edge comes standard with automatic lubrication alerts and front and rear greasing banks. All of these improvements help make the Edge a machine that is easy to use and maintain.

Monsanto Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System

The U.S. Department of Agriculture deregulated Monsanto’s dicamba-tolerant trait technologies—Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans and Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton in early 2015. These weed management solutions will provide farmers with more consistent, flexible control of tough-to-manage broadleaf weeds. The cotton was planted in 2015. The soybeans are awaiting key import approvals but 2016 pre-season orders for the seed are being taken.

Monsanto developed the new soybeans and cotton to tolerate its new formulations of dicamba and glyphosate herbicides. Additionally, the cotton has tolerance to glufosinate herbicide. The new Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System is aimed at combating weeds that have grown resistant to Monsanto’s glyphosate-based Roundup and other companies’ herbicides.

“This announcement marks an important milestone for farmers around the world,” said Robb Fraley, Ph.D., Monsanto’s chief technology officer.

Monsanto has been working diligently over the past 10 years to develop the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System and bring it to market. “The dedication, effort and number of people that have touched this project has been extraordinary, and demonstrates our continued commitment to bring a range of agriculture solutions to farmers—including game-changing traits like Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans and Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton,” said Fraley.

Nachurs Rhyzo-Link

Nachurs Alpine Solutions of Marion, Ohio, recently partnered with Pathway Biologic, LLC of Plant City, Fla., to announce a new advancement in fertility, Rhyzo-Link fertilizer.

Rhyzo-Link is unique to the marketplace. It is a revolutionary combination of premium fertilizer with a blend of eight unique strains of Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR). This combination immediately goes to work in-furrow with the seed, or on the leaf surface to increase nutrient availability and enhance nutrient uptake. Rhyzo-Link stimulates plant and root growth and has the natural ability to increase overall plant health, as well as activate plant defense mechanisms. Initially, three formulations are being introduced. Each is a premium fertilizer that combines the highest quality ingredients including orthophosphate, Bio-K technology, essential micronutrients and PGPR technology.

Glen Crowe, national sales manager for Pathway, said, “Pathway products are consistent and compatible because the strains are derived from pure cultures, which are certified in each and every batch. Liquid fertilizer provides an excellent delivery system for the PGPR. Rhyzo-Link will stay in solution and remain viable for at least 18 months. Typically, farmers can expect to increase crop yield and quality by 5 to 20 percent.”

Tommy Roach, director, specialty products and product development for Nachurs explains how the rhizosphere and PGPR work, “Plants alter the composition of exudates based upon environment or stresses to encourage or discourage bacterial growth within the rhizosphere, thus promoting the growth and development of species beneficial to the plant. The microbes we are placing with the fertilizer are specific to improving the bacterial composition of the rhizosphere. Rhyzo-Link has multiple modes of action, which not only promote plant growth, but also enhance nutrient availability and aid in defense from plant pathogens.”

Syngenta Acuron Corn Herbicide

Growers looking to control difficult weeds like waterhemp, giant ragweed and Palmer amaranth now have access to Acuron corn herbicide from Syngenta.

Acuron has been shown to control 70-plus weeds, including broadleaf and grass weeds like Palmer amaranth, marestail, giant ragweed, kochia, morningglory and waterhemp. These weeds have become particularly hard for growers to manage.

“Current herbicides are losing effectiveness, and it’s not unusual for us to see growers spending as much as $60 per acre or more on herbicides for corn,” said Gordon Vail, Ph.D., technical product lead for Syngenta. “The best strategy in this scenario is to use a high-performing pre-emerge herbicide like Acuron that will stop weeds before they start, and we’re excited we can now offer it to growers.”

Palmer amaranth, which produces up to 100,000 seeds per plant and can grow as fast as 3 inches per day, has been a serious challenge for growers with its ability to bring about yield losses of more than 90 percent in corn. Acuron has been shown to outperform competitive products on Palmer amaranth and other difficult weeds.

What makes the herbicide so effective is the novel chemistry bicyclopyrone, which complements the other three active ingredients in the premix to target a wider range of weeds than previous products. The four active ingredients and three modes of action in Acuron deliver a multi-targeted approach to weed control, while reducing the overall rates of certain herbicides.

Teeter Irrigation Dragon-Line Drip Irrigation System

A Southwest Kansas entrepreneur has developed a concept that may be the key to extending the rapidly depleting water supply needed for irrigated crop production.

“The efficiency of a drip irrigation is simply greater than the efficiency of a pivot irrigation system,” said Monty Teeter, founder and CEO of Teeter Irrigation Inc. “Dragon-Line is the most revolutionary system for watering since the pivot was invented. Simply put, it transforms pivot irrigation into drip irrigation.”

Dragon-Line is a trademarked system developed by Teeter Irrigation that uses the patented PMDI (Precision Mobile Drip Irrigation) process and technology. DripNet PC tubing manufactured by Netafim is attached to the pivot and is drug along the ground, thus the name Dragon-Line. The tubing utilizes 1 GPH pressure compensating emitters on 6-inch spacing. The emitters are fully operational at 6 PSI, self-flushing, and require 80-mesh filtration to ensure a long-lasting system.

Dragon-Line provides increased efficiency through precision irrigation by specifically delivering water and nutrients directly to the area of soil where it can provide optimal plant growth. By applying water directly to the soil—not on the plant—Dragon-Line eliminates evaporation from the canopy, leaf burn from water and mineral precipitants, plant shock from sudden temperature changes, and reduces potential for disease to the plant. It also helps eliminate or reduce costly wheel track issues.

“Our purpose at Teeter Irrigation is to make every drop of water count,” Teeter said. “We’re depleting our aquifer at a very fast rate. All of our livelihoods depend on water, so we need to implement a plan to help conserve it. Dragon-Line can help fulfill that need.”

Woods End Laboratories Solvita Field Soil Biology Test

Woods End Laboratories, manufacturer of laboratory-based soil tests, announced the release of the Solvita Field Test, which enables growers and crop consultants to conduct on-site evaluations of soil biology without the added expense of sending samples to a laboratory.

As growers have become more interested in biological soil fertility—more popularly known as “soil health”—measuring soil CO2 respiration in the field has become important as a way to gauge the quality of the soil’s biology. This measurement is also significant in that it provides a way to track how much CO2 the plants are receiving.

Plants have a large appetite for CO2, particularly mid-summer. They extract CO2 from surrounding air to form basic sugars through photosynthesis. During the most rapid growth, however, CO2 can be a limiting nutrient. This means yields are saturated at lower than potential levels.

“It would take 12 to 38 cubic acres of air to provide enough CO2 for an acre of wheat and corn,” Will Brinton, Ph.D., the inventor of Solvita, explained. “We commonly assume plants just somehow get all this from the air, but the fact is much is coming directly from soil due to microbial respiration.”

“Basal respiration expresses the total activity of bacteria and fungi living in the soil,” Brinton explained, “and this reflects the system’s balance of soil organic matter, the primary source of CO2, which diffuses out of soil. With the Solvita Field Test, agronomists and growers can accurately monitor this rate and make observations that can affect future organic matter applications and yield.”