To give seed dealers and farmers a new way to look at and talk about seed treatments, the Acceleron brand has released the Virtual Root Dig app.
Available for iOS, the free app uses augmented reality to show microscopic threats to plants as well as how roots and components of the plants react to stress.
“Especially with seed treatments, it can be complex to really understand how they work and the threats they are protecting the plants against,” explains A.J. Hohmann, U.S. marketing manager at Bayer SeedGrowth. “With this app, you can create a plant by pointing the iPad or iPhone camera on any flat surface. Then you can watch it grow, dig it up, inspect the roots, and more.”
The app guides users to select a crop (corn or soybeans), and then select a seed treatment product (fungicide, insecticide, nematicide, biological).
“We don’t know what we’re going to face in 2020, but the Acceleron portfolio has coverage on four fronts, and we’ve got the tools in the toolbox for growers to be ready,” Hohmann says.
Acceleron will not be offering NemaStrike Technology for nematode control in 2020; however, the company is marketing ILEVO seed treatment, which has been shown to control nematodes.
As for the environmental conditions that seed treatments can help control yield threats against, Hohmann encourages growers to be proactive.
“Every year, growers want to go earlier and earlier, and while you are increasing yield potential, you are going into cooler, moist conditions, and no doubt, that is where we can see seed treatments drive dividends,” he says.
So far, Hohmann reports seed dealers have appreciated the new tool.
“Dealers have told us this has been a beneficial tool so they can sit with a customer, grow the plant, show the features and benefits of the portfolio, and it’s a great educational piece,” he says. “Dealers need tools like this to facilitate those one-on-one conversations.”