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Product positioning is the process of positioning a product under the right conditions/fields for the farmer to meet their needs, field conditions, management practices and agronomic conditions to create a successful outcome. In simple terms it’s placing the right product on the right ground.
Generally, the first selection criteria when choosing a seed product is yield potential, followed by various agronomic characteristics. When selecting seed products the emphasis or ranking of agronomic characteristics and traits to consider can vary from one field’s priorities to another. Certain seed products may not be the best choice for all fields as there may be differences in their soil types, drainage, potential pest pressure, and overall yield potential.
Soil Texture, Drainage and Fertility Levels. Clay, silt, sand, or a combination of those soil textures comprise soil types. Heavy clay soils may benefit from products that have strong emergence. Products with drought tolerance may be preferred when planting in sandy soils. In poorly drained or high clay content soils, especially with early planting and when planting soybeans, consider using a seed treatment or fungicide.
Phosphorus (P) contributes to root establishment and potassium (K) is essential for stalk strength. If you have fields that are low in P and K levels as indicated by recent soil tests, consider selecting seed products with good root ratings for low P soils and good stalk ratings for low K soils.
Disease and Insect Pressure. Review past insect and disease issues by crop for each field as well as problems in neighbors fields. Have these yield-reducing pests been an occasional concern or a perpetual problem? Rotation, agronomic characteristics and traits can be important to managing these pest problems. For example, a continuous corn cropping system may have annual foliar disease pressure (depending on the season) and choosing a product with good resistance to diseases may be beneficial.
When considering soybean products, soybean cyst nematode (SCN) populations can reduce yield potential in your fields and selecting a SCN resistant product should be considered. If you have been using the same SCN resistant product can be beneficial, visit with your seed representative to determine if you should consider rotating to a different SCN resistant product. For other disease concerns, consider selecting soybean products that are tolerant to sudden death syndrome (SDS), soybean sclerotinia stem rot (white mold) and other diseases in your area.
Is corn rootworm pressure a problem in your area? No matter if corn rootworm pressure is light, moderate or heavy damage can occur. Expected rootworm pressure coupled with certain crop rotations can influence insect trait(s) preferences within a product. Discuss those concerns with your seed representative when selecting corn products.
Weed Management. Positioning seed products with herbicide tolerant traits may be beneficial for some fields. Factors to consider when making that decision include:
Crop Rotation and Tillage System. Is the field you are planting in a continuous crop system or in a rotation? Some products positioned correctly have been identified to perform better in each of these conditions. Some products work better in no-till or minimum till systems.
Yield Environment. Knowing your yield potential and yield goal is important. These are two different considerations. Do you have fields that are low-yield environments, while others represent high-yield environments? Different products can be positioned to help maximize yield potential within those varying environments. Discuss your product ratings along with what management recommendations should be used for those environments with your seed representative.
Pedersen, P. Variety selection. Iowa State University Extension. http://extension.agron.iastate.edu. Staton, M. 2012. Selecting soybean varieties for 2013. Michigan State University Extension. http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/selecting_soybean_varieties_for_2013 Elmore, R., Abendroth, L., and Rouse, J. 2006. Choosing corn hybrids. Iowa State University Agronomy Extension. http://www.agronext.iastate.edu/corn/production/management/ hybrid/choosing.html. Web sources verified 11/11/15 151030125733