Kansas wheat growers guided to top yields with help from Syngenta
Greensboro, North Carolina, USA
March 12, 2012
Kansas wheat growers Chuck Downey and James Kesler achieved the highest wheat yields in their respective regions and were both named winners in the Kansas Wheat Commission’s 2011 annual Wheat Yield Contest. This success can be attributed, in part, to the use of top-performing products from Syngenta, including Cruiser® seed treatment insecticide, Dividend Extreme® seed treatment fungicide, Tilt® and Quilt® fungicides, and Art wheat seed.
Downey of St. Francis, Kan., depends on Syngenta fungicides to defend his wheat crop from yield-robbing diseases throughout the growing season. To protect his valuable wheat seed investments from soilborne pathogens like Fusarium and Pythium, Downey applied Dividend Extreme before planting, which also helps protect against another disease of concern to Downey – loose smut. According to Downey, this is one of the easiest diseases to prevent and definitely not one you want to infect next year’s wheat seed. In his experience, for every 1 percent infection, yield also drops 1 percent.
“Seed treatments like Dividend Extreme are one of the most elementary steps in maximizing wheat yields,” Downey explained. “I added Cruiser to the treatment this year, and the overall plant health from germination to dormancy has been excellent. With this seed treatment combination, the root systems take off immediately and provide a strong, healthy stand going into winter dormancy.”
Disease protection remains an important factor in Downey’s top-yielding wheat operation throughout the season.
“Tilt applied at herbicide timing does a great job keeping the plant healthy and free of early-season diseases during this critical growth and development period,” Downey said. “I’m also a big believer in applying Quilt between Feekes Growth Stages 8 and 10.5 to protect the flag leaf from later-season diseases.”
By implementing a season-long pest protection plan, along with careful crop management, Downey was able to achieve 61.76 bu/A wheat, capturing first prize in the western Kansas region.
Across the state, James Kesler of Sabetha, Kan., took home first prize in the eastern Kansas region, achieving 61.34 bu/A wheat. Kesler attributes his success to careful planning and management, which begins with planting top-quality, certified seed.
“I’ve always used certified seed,” Kesler said. “It’s important to plant clean seed if you want to attain high yields.”
Kesler planted Art wheat variety from the Syngenta AgriPro® brand in 2010, which offers a complete agronomic package, including Hessian fly resistance, improved tolerance to scab, above average protein levels and earlier maturation capabilities.
Both growers earned $1,000 from the Kansas Wheat Commission for their top-yielding wheat crops.
For more information or to register for the 2012 Kansas Wheat Yield Contest, visit www.kansaswheat.org,