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New “Intellicoat” Seed Coating Lets Corn Growers Plant 3-4 Weeks Earlier

Woodbine, Iowa, farmer Vernon Smith, or Avon, Illinois, farmer Kent Lock, or Omro, Wisconsin, farmer Dan Stokes weren't alone in their quest to plant corn earlier last spring. For many corn growers, one of the most difficult decisions to make is when to begin planting. If you plant too early, the crop may not pull through harsh early spring conditions. If you wait, you may not get all your acres planted on time and suffer yield loss, by as much as 20%, from late planting.

Smith says a new "intelligent" seed coating with a built-in temperature switch set to keep moisture out before soil temperatures reach 55 degrees F. and let moisture in after that helped make the decision easier. He planted hybrid corn with "Intellicoat" and says he'll plant more acres this spring. While Smith planted Fielder's Choice Direct hybrid corn, "Intellicoat" is now also available on Beck's Hybrids, and Hubner Seed Co. brands. Several other hybrid corn companies are testing Intellicoat and it may be added to more brands by spring planting 2004.

Should you wait to plant?

Corn growers know, during the planting season, every minute counts. Most years the window of time when weather and soil conditions are right for corn planting is typically very short – usually 7-10 days.

Lock says, “If you wait for your optimum planting date, you may not get all your acres planted before your yield potential starts to drop.”

Omro, Wisconsin, farmer Dan Stokes
likes being able to plant earlier with confidence that the corn seed is protected from moisture and trying to germinate in soil that’s not warm enough by the “Intellicoat” polymer.

Should you plant early?

Growers have historically tried the risky practice of planting uncoated seed in cold early spring soils in order to get a jump on the corn planting season. Having corn in the ground early can help avoid the yield loss associated being shut out and forced to plant later in the season. Farmers have long recognized that earlier planting can help to create additional days for the crop to reach maturity and dry down. However, there is potential yield loss related to planting uncoated seed early.

When a seed germinates in cold soils it is vulnerable to chilling injury, which impairs its development and may kill it, thus reducing stand counts.

A solution to the dilemma

Stokes says, “Being able to plant early, knowing the seed was coated and protected until the soil warmed up is what gave me the confidence to try it.”

“Farmers looking to plant in colder, earlier season conditions, even in no-till applications, can drastically reduce their risk and maximize their profit-potential with Intellicoat Early Plant coated seeds,” says Landec Ag, Inc. senior agronomist Claude Butt. “ Compared to uncoated seeds planted early, Intellicoat coated seeds have produced more uniform emergence, higher stand counts and higher yields in hundreds of on-farm field trials on more than 16,000 acres in the past two years.”

“Comparing Intellicoat coated seeds to uncoated seeds in these early-planted trials, the Intellicoat coated seeds have consistently shown better, more uniform emergence and higher stand counts for maximum yield potential, even in no-till.”

Woodbine, Iowa, farmer Vernon Smith successfully used “Intellicoat” coated hybrid corn last spring that allows for planting up to four weeks earlier than normal. “It was on Fielder’s Choice hybrid corn and was one of our best yielding fields. We’ll use it again this spring,” Smith says.

Butt adds, “The new Intellicoat Early Plant seed corn coatings actually control germination in cold, early spring soils to protect the seeds and help ensure they germinate only under optimum conditions. The result is a more timely, uniform emergence – even in no-till applications.

Now, when your field is ready for planting, whether it be a few days or even as many as four weeks sooner than the normal planting date, you can take full advantage with minimal risk of stand loss.

Butt says, "The bottom line is that Intellicoat technology lets you reliably expand your planting window to avoid late planting and maximize your yield potential. It also lets you spread your work load and finish planting your corn early so you can get a jump on your soybeans. Finally, growers report reduced drying costs at harvest."

Avon, Illinois corn grower Kent Lock has more free time to spend with family as a result of using Intellicoat corn hybrids allowing earlier planting which also results in higher yields.

To find out more about Intellicoat Early Plant technology the seed brands, and hybrids that it will be featured on in the 2003 growing season, call toll-free 1-800-241-7252. Ask for a free Intellicoat Early Plant information kit that includes a technical brochure, a complete report on the Intellicoat research trials conducted in 2001, and a reference guide to help growers optimize the use of Early Plant hybrids. Or, click here and view that info in a PDF format.

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                                                                                  ©2003 CCI Marketing, Inc.