Get the best performance out of your season by choosing the seed that is ideal for your farm and your planting conditions.
TOMMY THOMPSON, TY WOODARD AND WES WOODARD
Data and Consistency are Driving Seed Purchase Decisions
Hear from growers Tommy Thompson, Ty Woodard and Wes Woodard about why they trust DEKALB®, Asgrow® and Deltapine® seed brands to meet their needs season after season.
Tommy Thompson runs his farm, located near Manning, South Carolina, like a CEO runs a boardroom. Every Monday morning, he and his farm manager and niece, Lindsey McDowell, scout all fields and crops—cotton, corn, soybeans and peanuts. Then, they sit down in the office and go over the work schedule for the entire week, determining which fields need to be sprayed, irrigated or plowed.
This is a true family farm that has been in operation since 1932. Thompson grew up on the farm and took over from his father in 1996. Today, his son, niece, other family members and employees play important roles in the day-to-day work, which includes a hot lunch cooked and served to all farm employees and friends each day. The 3,000-acre operation is comprised of dozens of small-sized fields. When it comes to seed selection, Thompson is looking to match soil types with varieties and hybrids for best performance.
“DEKALB, Asgrow and Deltapine brand products have what I call PDQ – performance, dependability and quality. Their track record over the past 10 years is enough for anyone to easily make the decision to plant them.”
Thompson uses the Climate FieldView™ platform on his corn, soybean and cotton fields to record data at planting, spraying and harvest. With easy-to-use maps, he and his crew can make decisions about seed selection and placement based on data from their fields. The data, plus advice from his Bayer seed representative and agronomist, has created a recipe for success.
“With the Climate FieldView yield data, we are able to choose varieties that performed best,” Thompson says. “My seed rep and agronomist are a wealth of information, too. They know my soils and fields so well, as well as their products.”
Season after season, Thompson returns to planting DEKALB®, Asgrow® and Deltapine® products because of consistent performance on his farm. “Consistency is a big part of being profitable, and DKC67-44 brand performed well in the extreme heat and drought it suffered this season,” Thompson says. “Everyone was thinking we had a 70-bushel crop. We put the combine in the field, and we were cutting twice that. That’s a testament to the vigor and drought tolerance of the DEKALB brand. DKC65-20 brand is my favorite product, one that fits the entire farm.”
When it comes to cotton and soybeans, Thompson is farming within the Roundup Ready® Xtend Crop System for more flexible, effective weed management. DP 1646 B2XF is his primary cotton variety and has been one to set the performance bar on his farm. DP 1725 B2XF has also done well on his fields, and in 2019, he planted DP 1840 B3XF, wanting to find a variety of Bollgard® 3 XtendFlex® cotton that would work on his farm.
“Trait technology absolutely has an effect on what we plant, and Bollgard 3 Technology is something for us to look forward to,” he says. “We’ve had to spray our cotton just a few times with insecticide this year as compared to past years.”
Thompson is a start clean, stay clean grower. A burndown application followed by overlapping modes of action pre-emergence and postemergence in cotton and soybeans makes weed management easier on his fields. The ability to use XtendiMax® herbicide with VaporGrip® Technology Restricted Use Pesticide on escapes is also important.1
“XtendiMax Herbicide with VaporGrip Technology is a great tool to have,” he says.
Nestled in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina near Darlington, Woodard Farms sits in a sweet spot from an agronomic standpoint, says Ty Woodard, who farms with his dad and brother. The soils are heavy enough to grow corn and soybeans, but they’re sandy and light enoughto do really well with cotton and peanuts. Weather is the wild card, going from wet to hot and dry to hurricane season.
“Our crop mix comes down to spreading risk and following a crop rotation as best we can,” says Woodard, who joined the farm after graduating from Clemson University in 2007 with a biology degree. “When we’re choosing seed products, we’re selecting them for specific fields based off of soil types. Ultimately, our choices come down to the data, whether from our farm or university trials; it all goes into decision-making when we’re deciding which variety or hybrid to put where.”
Woodard Farms wants consistently performing genetics in the seed it plants, says Ty’s brother, Wes, a 2003 graduate of Clemson University who’s worked on the farm since 2004.
“With DEKALB, Asgrow and Deltapine brand seed, we’ve seen a lot of consistency, but it’s not that every year is the same,” says Wes Woodard. “Profitability varies, obviously, with weather and other factors that aren’t controllable. But I think the overall package throughout that lineup offers a lot of consistency and has proven to be profitable for us over time.”
Trait technologies offered in the three brands are another important factor, according to the Woodard brothers. Insect protection offered in DEKALB products has been vital in protecting from ear-damaging worms. From a weed management perspective, the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System for cotton and soybeans has put them back in cleaner fields.
“For us, being able to use the products in the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System makes all the difference in the world in being able to keep our fields clean and keep those weeds from robbing our yield, whether we’re talking about cotton or soybeans,” says Ty.
Woodard Farms recently incorporated the Climate FieldView platform into their operation, monitoring and collecting data at planting, spraying and harvest. The technology allows them to collect agronomic data and easily store it in one spot to have a complete picture of the inputs, rates and timing for each field tracked.
The ultimate goal is for the data to drive informed decision-making on practices such as seeding rates, fertility management and seed selection and placement.
“This was our first year using Climate FieldView, and we’re looking forward to being able to use the data we’ve gathered from this season in the spring, as we’re planning for next season, to make better decisions,” Ty says.
Success for these two South Carolina farms depends on consistent, high-end performance in corn, soybeans and cotton. It’s a good growing environment, and yet it can turn as bad as any region of the South in a few short days. There is insect pressure, weed pressure and weather extremes to farm through. Seed selection is a very important first step in their journey each season.
“When we compare DEKALB, Asgrow and Deltapine brands to other brands, I think we know what we’re going to get at the end of the day. And for us, in an ever-changing climate with prices and weather, having something that can be trusted to be consistent means all the world. ”
“We’ve been planting DEKALB, Asgrow and Deltapine brands for as long as I can remember,” Ty says.
The proof is in the combines and harvesters running during the fall, says his brother, Wes. “When we get in there and we start harvesting, those brands seem to just shine.”
1XtendiMax® herbicide with VaporGrip® Technology is most effective when used in conjunction with traditional residual herbicides in pre-emergence and post-emergence applications that have different, effective sites of action, along with other Diversified Weed Management Practices.
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