SHOREVIEW, Minn. — Farmers now have new data to help them get the best return on their on-farm investments. Results from the 2016 Answer Plot program by WinField United provide 4 key insights for farmers as they move into the 2017 growing season.

Key takeaways from 2016 trials include:

1. Belowground traits beat corn rootworm. In fields at risk of corn rootworm infestations, farmers should consider planting hybrids with belowground traits to provide consistent protection instead of insecticide applications. Answer Plot data demonstrates that Genuity SmartStax hybrids deliver a consistent yield advantage compared to hybrids without belowground traits.

2. Expect results from fungicides. Fungicide applications are worth the cost, even with low commodity prices. Answer Plot data for 2016 shows a strong yield response to fungicides in both corn and soybeans. Across all locations, an 88% positive response rate was observed in corn and a 92% positive response rate was observed in soybeans.

3. Split N for higher yield potential. Applying nitrogen (N) when plants need it most helps farmers save on the financial and environmental costs of nitrogen loss. Answer Plot 2016 data shows side-dress N applications at V4 stage and treatments with a Y-drop applicator at V10 stage led to significant yield advantages over base rate.

4. The right seed yields results. During 2016 Answer Plot trials, we used applied science to analyze and compare statistical data between several different seeds. From soil type and disease risk to crop rotation and response to nutrient applications, farmers should be sure that the seeds they plant can meet the challenges of the new season.

Ongoing Program Provides In-Field Benefits

In its 19th year, the program features Answer Plot trials conducted at nearly 200 locations across 30 states and in 5 countries, and produces more than 6 million data points at local, regional and national levels.

Farmers can use replicated seed trial data and insight trials from the Answer Plot program to make smart decisions for their own fields, or they can attend in-season events to see how products and management practices are working to make those decisions in real time.