Home Indiana Agriculture News Keep Tar Spot in Mind During Hybrid Selection

Keep Tar Spot in Mind During Hybrid Selection


A disease that expanded and hurt corn yields in 2021, tar spot, will be a disease to prepare for this year too. But one of the challenges with tar spot is the lack of a cure. One company says what’s needed then is prevention, and hybrid selection is the path.

“Over the last 3 to 4 years our breeding teams have actually selected products that do better against tar spot than others and it’s given us an advantage out there in the marketplace,” says Jim Shertzer, head of NK Seeds Marketing for North America. “So, if you’re battling this disease the best way to do it is hybrid selection, prevention on the front side because there’s really no answer to it once you get it. So, work with your local retail sales rep, local NK sales rep. They can help position the best products if that’s something that you want to put into your plan for 2022.”

And prevention is a must because Shertzer and the Syngenta-NK team do not see tar spot going away.

“It’s rain and wind and humidity that gets it going in the summer and we know those things happen every year. We’re hearing it move further south so we don’t see it going away, so I think starting with prevention on the front end in your plan is going to be your best combat for it as we look to 2022.”

He adds there has been a great deal of research and development investment to broaden the NK corn portfolio in the last 3-4 years.

“New facilities to integrate traits faster, new equipment to get more data points faster,” he explained. “We’ve broadened our trialing footprint. We’ve put more people into the program and we’re just starting to see the results of it. This year alone, 21 different products in the NK line-up placed in the top three of the first trial, so an independent trialing system and we had 21 different products in the top 3. Our portfolio has changed so much in the last couple years and if you haven’t experienced NK corn, you need to try it on your farm. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the advancements we’ve made in our corn portfolio.”

If you’re looking at mixing things up on the soybean seed side, Syngenta launched 43 new soybean products last year.

“We were able to put our elite genetics into the to trait platforms that farmers are leveraging, Enlist E3 and XtendFlex, with our genetics, and so we’re set up for 2022. We’re bringing in some more new products on the soybean side that allows our farmers to pivot. We’re hearing things out there that there could be herbicide shortages. There’s always supply chain issues that we’re fighting right now, so we can help those growers pivot based on weed spectrum that they’re trying to fight and also what they can secure from an input. We can help you through that with our soybean line up.