By Joe Slosarczyk, Key Account Sales Manager

There are some key factors in proper hybrid/variety selection to successfully prepare for the 2022 planting season, as well as some new technological advancements that will be available to us for this next season and beyond. In this 2-part series, we will focus on new technologies for 2022.

SmartStax Pro with RNAi Technology

For this season, we have a few new technologies that will be available to us that are extremely exciting and will give you, the producer, some additional tools to manage rootworms and introduce us to a new hybrid system in general. The first technology that we would like to highlight is SmartStax Pro with RNAi technology from Bayer Crop Science. Since the introduction of transgenetic trait technology, we have been relying on multiple different BT modes of action to control the most devastating pest in corn, corn rootworm. While these technologies have delivered control for us since their introduction, as pest pressures evolve, crop rotations change, and management practices continue to progress, we have started to lose efficacy in certain areas when trying to control corn rootworm. For the past few seasons leading up to 2021, we had relatively low corn rootworm pressure in many of our trade territories. However, due to favorable conditions entering our 2021 season, we have seen a resurgence of corn rootworm pressure across our trade territory with record beetles being trapped and root-feeding for many to be an all-time high. It couldn’t have been better timing for the introduction and launch of SmartStax Pro than 2022.

So, what makes SmartStax Pro different than previous traits and how can we utilize it as a tool in our pest management program moving forward? SmartStax Pro takes the current SmartStax Technology (2 BT modes of action against corn rootworm) and adds a third brand new mode of action RNAi technology. This new RNAi technology interferes with the corn rootworm’s ability to create a specific protein essential for life. Because of this technology advancement, we now have a non-BT mode of action to enhance our rootworm control in corn while coupled with the SmartStax technology. This technology will be available at ALCIVIA, and while supply in the initial launch year will not be determined until late 2021, we would encourage you to engage in discussion with your local ALCIVIA agronomist to prepare for the launch moving into 2022.

Short Stature Corn

The second exciting new technology that will be entering the market will be the “short stature” corn system also from Bayer Crop Science. This corn system will take proven genetics paired with a native trait to produce a shorter statured plant. There will be a few key benefits to this new system of corn.  First will be improved standability and lodging tolerance. Second, this cropping system will allow us better access to in-season management of crop nutrients, fungicides, cover crops, and other applications. Third, this technology will potentially optimize water, essential nutrients, and land management practices. While 2022 will be a limited launch, 2023 is the anticipated full launch of the product line to the marketplace. If you would like to learn more about “short stature” corn or see it in person, please reach out to your local ALCIVIA agronomist.

At ALCIVIA, it is our mission to bring our customers innovative and responsible solutions for their farms.  We are very excited about the new technology advancements that are currently entering the marketplace. At the same time, we want to bring these new technologies to your farm in a responsible manner to ensure that they are managed properly to maximize their effectiveness for your operation’s system and help you to better achieve your goals.

Next week, we will then discuss the key factors in choosing hybrids for your farm, the tools we have available to fine-tune our selection, and ultimately have a laser focus on hybrid/variety selection to fit your management system. Until then, thank you for taking the time to learn about this year’s upcoming advancements and we look forward to assisting you in your seed decision-making process for 2022.

This is the first part of a 2-part series regarding seed selection, placement, and new technologies for the 2022 crop year. Look forward to the second part soon!