Last year was a crazy weather year for Indiana and Midwest farmers. “Crazy is an understatement,” said Becca Waller with DEKALB. “Mother Nature threw quite a few curve balls at us. Either it was too wet to get in the field and spray or even plant the products, or they got washed out mid-season, or you had other pockets that didn’t receive enough rain in the midst of the growing season.”
She told HAT that a year with many variables is an opportune time for research and ultimately developing better seed.
“We’re collecting a lot of information and data on not only how those production acres are going but our seed quality. That’s of course number one. We want to make sure we’re putting good quality seed into the bag, and so we’re really analyzing what went right, what went wrong, and being very selective of what goes in that DEKALB bag. So I think it’s managing those tough environments and keeping an eye on what they’re experiencing in terms of challenges and making sure that we’re selecting new hybrids coming down the pipe that can address those and making sure that from a quality standpoint we’re meeting the DEKALB standard.”
Stalk rot was a concern last year but in the end wind damage didn’t materialize for most Indiana farmers and Waller says they’ve made improvements in that area in the 2016 DEKALB new product offerings.
“We’ve got a lot of great products coming out in 2016,” Waller says. “Out of our traditional trait platforms like SmartStax we’ve got enhanced stalk quality, yield potential of course. We’re always driving yield in the DEKALB bag, and there’s VT Double PRO and of course DroughtGard. We’ve seen really, really great performance out of our DroughtGard products even in non-typical drought areas, so they’re great quality and even if you’re looking in the silage market we’ve got products coming out in that area as well.”
Waller characterized last year as a strong performance year for their brand even with the heavy hand of Mother Nature.