Thursday, November 13, 2014

LibertyLink® Soybean Yield Profit

Why were there waterhemp issues in soybeans in 2014?
Towards the end of the growing season, waterhemp growth appeared to have exploded in many soybean fields within the Burrus footprint. Some assumed that the waterhemp was most likely herbicide resistant; others wondered if the waterhemp that escaped were too tall to be controlled by a post herbicide application; while some just assumed that the waterhemp must have emerged after the post herbicide application. If a residual was included in the post herbicide application, had it leached away due to rain and not controlled the later emerging waterhemp? In reality, all of the above most likely occurred, and this allowed waterhemp to dominate above soybean canopies. Experts claim that later soybean planting, cool weather, rain, and open soybean canopies created the “perfect storm” for seed germination and weed growth during the growing season of 2014.The fact of the matter is that amaranths such as waterhemp, release a large amount of seeds per plant, have long germination periods, and can grow extremely fast. Another major problem is that in Illinois, we know that waterhemp can be resistant to up to four different modes of action of herbicides (ALS, PPO, EPSP glyphosate, and HPPD).

How can Burrus help?
We would like to introduce you to our lineup of LibertyLink® soybeans (Hughes 255LL, Hughes 285LL, Hoblit 355LL, Hoblit 384LL, Hoblit 405LL, Hoblit 423LL). The use of Liberty or glufosinate, a contact herbicide, along with the Burrus family of product’s LibertyLink® soybeans lineup, can be an effective tool to control annual weeds. Glufosinate will combat weeds like waterhemp that can be resistant to other herbicides and Burrus LibertyLink® soybeans can offer yield.  However, we must learn from the mistakes that were made with glyphosate and other herbicides in the past. We can’t just rely on one herbicide with just one single mode of action anymore. The use of Burrus family of product’s LibertyLink® soybeans within a corn and soybean rotation introduces another herbicide mode of action to the table. By adding a residual pre herbicide to your Liberty (glufosinate) soybean herbicide program, you can combat those amaranth weeds!  By rotating modes of action and adding residual to your herbicide program in a crop rotation, you can reduce your risk of herbicide resistant weeds in the future.

Do LibertyLink® Soybeans have a Yield Drag? 

The answer is no!

Can LibertyLink® Soybeans be profitable?
The following graphs illustrate the profitability of the following herbicide programs: LibertyLink® (with and without the LibertyLink® LinkUp™ rebate available on the Burrus family of product’s LibertyLink® soybeans), Roundup Ready, Non-GMO, Resistant Roundup Ready weeds, when incorporated into various farming operations in Northern Illinois, Central Illinois, Southern Illinois, and Missouri.


The average seed and herbicide program costs were budgeted in with crop budget data obtained from the University of Illinois and University of Missouri. The costs remained constant across all of the herbicide programs except in the case of Roundup resistant weeds, where it was assumed that herbicide expense would increase in most cases. A premium ($11.50) was factored in for Non-GMO soybeans. In the case of the Resistant Roundup Ready weed herbicide program, it was assumed that the grower was able to regain control of his weed issue by using a reasonably economic herbicide program, and there was only a 10 percent reduction in soybean yields due to the Roundup Ready resistant weed pressure (some may argue that this estimate is conservative).
 The red rectangle over each system indicates where the projected net (pre-rent/land cost) of the system should reside. The arrows up represent the potential max in net income with each system. The arrows down represent the potential lows for income. These potential arrows that represent max in net income and potential income lows for income were developed by evaluating historic yield highs and lows, historic movements in the commodity market, trends in fertilizer, etc. The graphs help to visualize risk and where each system stands in relation to each other from an income standpoint.
As you can see, the straight LibertyLink® program is competitive with non-GMO on its’ own.  After the LinkUp™ rebate is factored in, the LibertyLink® program surpasses the non-GMO in potential income. The LibertyLink® program along with the Linkup™ rebate carries the most upside benefit and least downside risk. Please note that early payment discounts were not factored into seed cost. Even when being considerate, a resistant weed situation carries the least benefit.  LibertyLink® does a nice job of holding the arrows above the break even line in Northern and Central Illinois. That system also minimizes potential red ink in the other locations.


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