At DEKALB® we understand that one of your biggest concerns as a farmer is the one factor we have the least control over: weather. While we can’t control the weather, with DEKALB® Genuity® DroughtGard® Hybrids we’re able to help maximize yield potential in favorable conditions while managing drought-associated risks.
Through the robust technology pipeline, the DEKALB brand's research and development teams have delivered innovations that improve yields while using fewer inputs, including water. With the DroughtGard Hybrids, this drought-tolerant biotech trait can increase Hydroefficiency™ under drought stress, which can result in increased kernel number and reduced frequency of barren plants. All of this provides the opportunity to reduce potential yield loss in certain drought conditions as seen in on-farm trials throughout the region.
The new DroughtGard Hybrids are just one part of a larger system aimed to manage risk by mitigating yield loss caused by drought. The combination of germplasm, trait packages and agronomic practices leads to deeper, stronger roots to gather more nutrients from soil, allowing it to thrive better in drought conditions.
The Science Behind the Drought Trait
Monsanto has been researching the complexity of plant drought tolerance for years. The new drought gene is a result of the years of testing and application of leading technology. Here are four key points to remember about the science behind DroughtGard Hybrids:
- The trait equips corn to be able to handle drought stress more efficiently by targeting a specific survival mechanism within the corn plant to improve moisture utilization.
- The gene, cspB, acts as an RNA chaperone that allows the plants to adapt to stress.
- The gene helps the plant react more quickly to drought, slow down its growth and conserve water.
- Sap flow collars and soil capacitance probes show that water is banked with DroughtGard Hybrids. Moisture remains in the ground, and is “banked” for future growth needs.
The Dual Advancement Process
One of the key aspects of DroughtGard Hybrids is the Dual Advancement Process. This process allows Monsanto to determine which products work best with the drought trait, and demonstrates Monsanto’s commitment to top-end yield potential in all commercially available products. Key points to remember:
- Monsanto has a specific system to determine which products will make it to on-farm trials, then into the market. It’s a two-track system, called the Dual Advancement Process, which evaluates both genetics and traits.
- The first step in the Dual Advancement Process is to select top-yielding products. Previous research had focused on drought tolerance first, but by switching the criteria, we are able to bring customers top-end yield potential during normal years and improved risk reduction during drought years.
- All DroughtGard Hybrids go through a rigorous testing system that evaluates performance under both drought and non-drought conditions.
- Superior genetics is the backbone of drought tolerance.
When Drought Strikes, Our Roots Run Deep
Find out the results of this year’s DEKALB Root Dig Challenge to discover how the DEKALB brand outperformed the competition under real-world, drought-stress conditions.
To learn more about DroughtGard Hybrids and its availability in your region, please contact your local sales representative or visit agSeedSelect.com.