Monday, February 9, 2015

Burrus has Drought Tolerance and Water Optimization

It is no secret that researchers are working diligently on finding ways to produce more grain with less water.  At Burrus/Hughes we are fortunate to be able to offer two ways to take advantage of water optimization products, Optimum® AQUAmax® and Agrisure® Artesian.  A focus on drought tolerance and increasing water optimization is a goal for many corn breeding programs.  Groundwater resources are now under increased scrutiny in many areas of the western Corn Belt. 

            The complexity surrounding drought tolerance and water optimization is unique.  Developing traits for water optimization and drought tolerance is different for corn breeders than developing either herbicide or insect resistance.   Variables such as soil, fertility program, heat, disease, nutrient uptake, insect pressure, along with the timing of water stress can vary greatly under different circumstances and are crucial components in understanding the effect they have on drought tolerance of a plant and overall yield.

            Corn breeders are working diligently on native drought tolerance (non-GM version) and biotech tolerance alternatives.  For example, Optimum AQUAmax hybrids provide 8.9% yield increase under water limiting conditions and 1.7 % yield increase under favorable conditions.

            Agrisure Artesian technology is touted as the industry’s first water-optimized corn technology.  Hybrids with Agrisure Artesian technology maximize yield when it rains and increases yield when it doesn’t, improving the return on a grower’s total crop investment.  Agrisure Artesian technology helps to reduce financial, emotional, and crop stress during gaps in rainfall.  Hybrids with the Agrisure Artesian technology hybrids are developed using Gene Blueprinting™ process, a Syngenta technology process that allows them to identify and select multiple genes within the corn genome that have distinctive modes of action and are responsible for drought protection mechanisms in corn. 

Plant performance is enhanced regardless of the stage of plant development when water stress occurs.  Syngenta believes its offering can help central and eastern Corn Belt growers stabilize yields in years of inconsistent rainfall or in fields with variable soil types and/or low soil moisture-holding capacity.  A huge area of research is targeted for the western Corn Belt to bring corn growing possibilities to marginal land.  The key to success will be to find genetics suited for light soils that more often tend to suffer from drought conditions even in a normal year.

            We are fortunate to offer two options for water optimization, it is part of our multiple choice/multiple brand strategy.  We have hybrids with the Agrisure Artesian designation and hybrids with the Optimum AQUAmax designation also.  The hybrids that carry the Agrisure Artesian designation in our lineup are Hughes 2987 3011A (the “A” depicts the Artesian characteristics), and Hughes 2428GTA.  The Optimum AQUAmax hybrids in our lineup are Power Plus® 2N82AM™*, 2T352™*, 2V56AMX™*, 4J93AM™*, 4J95AMX™*, 4Y27AMX™* and 6N83AM™*.  
Talk to your Burrus or Hughes Account Manager about how you can incorporate any one of those hybrid choices on your farm.

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