AUTOFARM LOWERS PRICE
GUIDANCE SYSTEM WORKS WITH MANY MACHINES
NOVARIANT Company, maker of the AutoFarm real-time kinematic (RTK) AutoSteer System, says it has priced its sub-inch accuracy system to be more accessible to more growers. Price of the vehicle components start at $25,000 for selected tracked models and go up to $28,000 for wheeled and articulated vehicles. Prices of the base station start at $6,500 for mobile configurations.
The system is engineered for interoperability that allows integration with any brand and model of tractor, sprayer or harvester. In addition to RTK GPS, the most precise GPS available, AutoFarm adds an ISO standards-based architecture that expands the compatibility with other equipment manufacturers' CAN bus. The new standards support means that the AutoFarm system can host other applications and can be deployed on other manufacturers' monitors.
EDEN BIOSCIENCE RECEIVES EPA REGISTRATION
EDEN Bioscience announces that it will start marketing ProAct, a new plant health regulator product. The company recently received EPA registration for it. Eden reports that ProAct is a new generation of foliar-applied harpin protein designed to increase field crop yields. Corn growers will try it out in field trials with the National Corn Growers Association.
Eden Bioscience says that ProAct “activates growth mechanisms that result in improved plant vigor, increased plant stamina, and healthier plants, which in turn reinforce the plant's ability to generate growth and stress-defense responses. This reinforcing circle of plant health results in improved yields.”
MORE LOW-LINOLENIC BEANS
PIONEER/BUNGE ALLIANCE EXPANDS CONTRACT ACRES
GROWERS interested in raising low-linolenic soybeans on contract got a boost from a recent announcement from Pioneer/DuPont and Bunge. The DuPont Biotech Alliance will expand to include an estimated 200,000 acres of the heart-friendly soybeans in 2006. The acreage expands to 550,000 in 2007.
The program, which offers premiums to growers who raise Pioneer low-linolenic soybeans on contract, begins on a limited basis in Iowa and Ohio in 2005. Contracts will be offered through Bunge North America at local participating elevators. The low-linolenic soybean oil will be marketed under the name Nutrium and marketed to food processing companies for its superior natural stability and increased shelf life without hydrogenation.
NEW PRODUCT TARGETS GRASS IN SOYBEANS
GOWAN Company is marketing a new herbicide that controls grasses. Called Targa, the new product is a selective postemergence herbicide that handles annual and perennial grasses in crops such as soybeans, sugar beets and canola. The active ingredient is quizalofop-p-ethyl, which is sourced from Nissan Chemical Industries. Targa delivers control of grasses such as johnsongrass, quackgrass and bermudagrass, as well as glyphosate-tolerant volunteer corn in soybeans.
SCOUT FOR SOYBEAN VARIANT OF WESTERN CORN ROOTWORM
THE WESTERN corn rootworm soybean variant is on the move, and corn growers in the fringe areas need to scout for the pest. The soybean variant is moving from Indiana and eastern Illinois into Ohio, southern Michigan, western Illinois and even into Iowa.
The soybean variant has adapted to the corn/soybean rotation by laying eggs in soybean fields, according to Matthew O'Neal, Iowa State University. Eggs hatch in the spring after the field has been planted to corn. Growers in fringe areas should place several yellow sticky traps in each soybean field in late July to check for beetles. If beetles are found, a corn rootworm treatment may be needed for the next corn crop.
CRUISER, APRONMAXX TEAM UP IN NEW TREATMENT
A NEW soybean seed treatment called CruiserMaxx Pak is now available on NK Brand and Garst brand soybeans. Developed by Syngenta, CruiserMaxx Pak is a commercially applied combination of two separately registered products: Cruiser insecticide and ApronMaxx brand fungicide. The new combination protects seed from insects such as bean leaf beetle and soybean aphid, plus all major seed- and soilborne diseases. NK Brand soybeans treated with CruiserMaxx Pak are available in bags, Convenience Paks and Q-Bit containers through local NK Brand dealers.
Garst is offering a savings to growers who purchase Garst corn hybrids treated with Cruiser Extreme Pak along with CruiserMaxx Pak-treated soybeans.
REFUGE REGS GROW
BT STACKS INCREASE REGULATIONS FOR REFUGES
THE NEW corn hybrids with stacked Bt traits require close attention to the insect-resistance management (IRM) requirements. The YieldGard Plus hybrid contains both the YieldGard corn borer gene and the YieldGard rootworm gene. The refuge requirements are different for the two traits. Growers may meet the IRM rules in a common refuge or in separate refuges. In the common refuge, a 20% non-Bt corn refuge must be located within or adjacent to fields containing the YieldGard Plus traits. For the separate refuges, the corn rootworm refuge must be planted to 20% non-corn rootworm hybrid within or adjacent to the YieldGard Plus corn. The corn borer refuge must be planted to a minimum 20% non-corn borer Bt corn and may be planted up to one-half mile from the YieldGard Plus corn.
USDA APPROVES THERMAL WEED CONTROL FOR ORGANIC PRODUCTION
COMMERCIAL growers have used propane flames to kill weeds for years, and now organic growers may do the same. The USDA recently approved thermal weed control as an authorized organic production practice. The USDA rules added heat and flame to the allowed weed-control methods.
Propane-generated heat or flames will eliminate weeds invading any crops. The benefits of heat are that it cannot be reversed by rain or other chemical treatments and weeds will not develop a resistance to extreme heat.
For more information about using propane to control weeds, call the Propane Education & Research Council at 202/452-8975, or visit www.usepropane.com  and click on the “trades” link.
WARRANTIES FOR GLYPHOSATE-TOLERANT CROPS
GROWERS purchasing Touchdown and glyphosate-tolerant (GT) seed from Syngenta Crop Protection will be covered by a set of warranties in the company's 2005 Touchdown Assurance Plan. The warranties include the following:
The Touchdown Total warranty allows growers to qualify for a re-treatment up to the initial rate if a Touchdown Total application made under less-than-ideal conditions results in unsatisfactory weed control.
The Touchdown Total crop safety warranty provides up to $20/acre if an in-crop application on the GT crop results in documented economic crop injury.
The 30-min. rain-fast warranty applies if an unexpected rainfall occurs at least 30 min. after application and the field requires re-treatment.
Replant burndown assurance provides a refund of up to 17 oz. of a product if Touchdown Total, Sequence, Gramoxone Max or Expert is applied as a burndown and the crop must be replanted.
A grower may qualify for replacement of a seed trait value if the crop is lost, regardless of whether the crop may be replanted. Touchdown brands must be the exclusive glyphosate product used.
If growers experience a volunteer GT corn flush in fields where they are rotating to GT soybeans from GT corn, they can qualify for cost share towards the purchase of Fusion or Fusilade DX.
For more information, visit www.touchdown-herbicide.com  for the Touchdown Assurance Program brochure.