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Industry News For December 2020

LSU AgCenter names interim specialist

trey price

Paul “Trey” Price

Plant pathologist Paul “Trey” Price, an assistant professor based at the Macon Ridge Research Station in Winnsboro, Louisiana, is serving as the LSU AgCenter’s interim cotton, corn and grain sorghum specialist.

Price says he often finds inspiration during his farm visits.

“It’s really good fuel for imagination and research ideas if you go on farms and you see what’s happening in the real world and you see what’s happening outside,” he says. “I really like to focus on things that we can apply to growers and their program that keeps them in business, that’ll solve their problems.

“If I can save a grower a dollar by coming up with a solution, our program has paid for itself. If we could save a dollar an acre across the state of an input cost, just think — just add that up.”

Contact Price at PPrice@agcenter.lsu.edu or 308-235-9805.

Precision Seed Placement technology now available

precision planting logoPrecision Planting LLC has introduced two seed placement optimization technologies. They provide growers with greater seed placement precision, improved crop emergence and stand uniformity, and increased yield potential — all from the comfort of their tractor cab.

The SmartDepth technology uses a proprietary calibration process to ensure every row unit is planting at the same depth, removing row-to-row variability, according to a news release. The technology also saves farmers time when they change depth settings on the planter. In addition, they can adjust depth more often, in 0.1-inch increments, by simply pushing a button on their Precision Planting 20|20 in-cab display.

A number of field-level factors account for determining optimal seed planting depth, including soil type, moisture levels and future weather forecast. The true planting depth of each row unit can often vary, even with the same depth setting across the planter. Research conducted by Precision Planting reveals that row unit variations can be 0.5 inch or more across planters, based on block checks.

SmartDepth can be paired with Precision Planting’s SmartFirmer, a seed firmer sensor that measures how much moisture is available for seed uptake.

Both technologies are available to farmers through Precision Planting premier dealers and require a Precision Planting 20|20 monitor and integration to operate across any planter equipment. The SmartDepth technology is available to farmers on a limited basis for the 2021 planting season.

Visit precisionplanting.com for more information.

Mississippi State scientist receives international honor

raja reddy

Raja Reddy

Raja Reddy, a world-renowned crop expert with Mississippi State University, was recognized with a premier, international award for cotton science.

Naming Reddy Researcher of the Year by the International Cotton Advisory Committee, spotlights his work to improve the quality of crops that feed, clothe and fuel the world.

Specifically, he focuses on climate change impact on cotton and other crop physiology, growth and development.

An MSU professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Reddy also directs the university’s Soil-Plant-Atmosphere-Research unit, or SPAR. He is a scientist in the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.

Reddy recently presented a virtual lecture on cotton and climate change as part of the World Cotton Research Conference’s plenary monthly lecture series, which is sponsored in part by ICAC.

Darrin Dodds, head of the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, says the award is a testament to Reddy’s long tenure as a leading cotton researcher.

“Dr. Reddy is a world-renowned expert in plant physiology and has been a valued faculty member in MSU’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences for more than three decades,” Dodds says.

“It is fitting that he is recognized with this award as he has spent his career performing cutting-edge research in environmental plant physiology. His contributions to Mississippi State University and the greater body of scientific research will last for decades to come.”

BASF updates Engenia label, introduces two new products

basf logoOn the heels of the Environmental Protection Agency’s reregistration of Engenia-brand dicamba, BASF has updated the label to reflect application changes. The company also hopes to launch two products that can be used in conjunction with Xtend crops.

The new Engenia herbicide registration includes updated label enhancements to further reduce the potential for off-target applications. They include:

• An approved pH buffering adjuvant to be tankmixed with every Engenia application, eliminating any need to measure the spray mixture’s pH.

• A down-wind application buffer of 240 feet in counties without Endangered Species Act restrictions. The downwind buffer distance in counties with ESA restrictions is 310 feet.

• Calendar-based cut-off dates instead of growth-stage based application deadlines, simplifying its directions for use. The new cut-off dates are June 30 for soybeans and July 30 for cotton.

BASF continues to work with the EPA and state agencies to create state-specific training materials. The company will offer training for the 2021 season to ensure farmers and applicators understand the new Engenia herbicide label requirements.

BASF also plans to launch Sentris buffering technology and Engenia Prime herbicide. Sentris, which will launch in time for use in the 2021 growing season, is a liquid buffering agent that when added to a dicamba spray solution will increase and stabilize the solution pH and reduce the potential for volatility.

Engenia Prime is a three-way mix of Engenia (dicamba — Group 4), Zidua (pyroxasulfone — Group 15) and Pursuit (imazethapyr — Group 2). Engenia Prime is not yet registered and is awaiting EPA approval.

Tennessee commissioner of agriculture recognized

The Tennessee Chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta — the international honor society of agriculture — has honored Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture Dr. Charlie Hatcher with its 2020 Alumni Award. Hatcher is a 1984 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.

The award was conveyed in person at a physically distanced gathering recently by Rob Holland, director of the UT Center for Profitable Agriculture and interim assistant dean of UT Extension. A virtual celebration for all 2020 award winners and student initiates was also conducted online recently.