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How to Help Corn Get Off to a Fast Start

1/18/2019

Biological growth stimulants have been getting more attention from the agricultural community, but you may be wondering if they live up to the hype. The Answer Plot® program has generated some solid research supporting the benefits of applying plant growth regulators (PGRs), both in-furrow at planting and later in the season as a foliar application. If you haven’t added a PGR to your crop nutrition program, now may be the time to start.
 
What do PGRs do?
PGRs are hormones that regulate the growth and development of plants. There are five basic classes of plant growth regulators. Each of these has a different effect on plants, ranging from stimulating plant growth to dictating seed germination. Plant responses may vary depending on PGR type, rate and application timing.
 
When should you apply a PGR?
Plant growth regulators can be applied throughout the growing season. To promote vigorous root growth and early emergence apply as a seed treatment or in-furrow at planting. Using a PGR on your seed prior to emergence provides an extra boost and a strong start at a time when soil and environmental conditions may not be favorable. The benefit of using a PGR prior to emergence is the seeds get an extra boost and a strong start at a time when soil and environmental conditions might not be favorable.
Ascend® SL plant growth regulator by WinField United contains three EPA-registered active ingredients for more vigorous emergence, better root growth, wider leaves, and thicker stalks. Answer Plot data from 199 sites over three years showed 60.5% of sites responded positively, with a 5.85-bushel-per-acre positive response when Ascend PGR was applied in-furrow to corn at planting.
 
Central Advantage has conducted multiple in-furrow Ascend trials over the years.  The data shows 7.12 additional bushels per acre yield advantage which provided $18.35 per acre return.