Enroll in the 2017 Yield Challenge side-by-side comparison and test out a product that “immunizes” a plant to improve its ability to handle stress.

Plants have natural defense mechanisms that enable them to handle stress, but by the time these defenses kick in damage has already been done and yield has been compromised to some degree. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to “prime” the plant to withstand stresses before they occur? It would be just like us getting a flu shot every fall to combat cold viruses.

Soybeans experience biotic (biological) and abiotic stresses that impact the plant’s metabolism, thus affecting growth and yield. Biotic stresses are primarily due to diseases and insects. Examples of abiotic stresses include: too cold or too hot, too wet or too dry, too cloudy, acid or saline soils, herbicide stress and others.

To help overcome these crop stresses, Crop Microclimate Management Inc.(CMM) has developed a foliar spray called Photon™. CMM has tested the product around the globe on a variety of crops from grain, specialty and tree crops, including soybeans in the United States. To test the product in Illinois, CMM is offering a bottle of Photon to growers who enroll in ISA’s Yield Challenge. The bottle will be enough to treat 23 acres.

Chuck Kupatt, CMM research and development director, said: “Photon is comprised of naturally occurring plant molecules that influence a plant’s ability to withstand (abiotic) stress. By treating the plant early, we can elevate the level of these molecules in the plant and increase its ability to handle stress while protecting yield. There is a yield benefit when plants aren’t stressed but the benefit is greater as stress increases. All plants experience degrees of stress practically every day from something even though growers may consider it a perfect season.”

He added: “Across our research trials we see an average 3.1 bushel-per-acre gain in soybeans under near-ideal conditions with Photon only. But under stressful conditions we more commonly see a 4- to 8- bushel gain when plants are stressed, and in one circumstance, as much as 23 more bushels per acre.”

Photon is applied early at a vegetative state with a post herbicide. But it can also be applied during a reproductive stage with fungicide or insecticide. Kupatt said two applications, vegetative and reproductive, aren’t considered economical.

Photon is a water-soluble granule and applied at 0.6 ounce per acre. It is compatible with pesticides and fertilizers. One 14-ounce bottle treats 23 acres.

To learn more about participating in the 2017 Illinois Yield Challenge visit the website here.

To learn more about Photon go to the Crop Microclimate Management Inc. website here. To order a 14 oz sample contact either Chuck Kupatt at chuck@cropstress.com or (919) 624-4490 or Nick Phillips at nicholas@cropstress.com or (9190 624-6182.

Soybean agronomist Daniel Davidson, Ph.D. posts blogs on agronomy-related topics. Feel free to contact him at djdavidson@agwrite.com or ring him at 402-649-5919.

Share This Story

About the Author: Dan Davidson

Soybean agronomist Daniel Davidson, Ph.D., posts blogs on topics related to soybean agronomy. Feel free to contact him at djdavidson@agwrite.com or ring him at 402-649-5919.