The Future of Planting is Here, Now

black field being planted

For decades, growers have strived to increase yields and minimize damage from pests and diseases. From natural chemical elements to synthetic solutions, they have experimented with ways to get the seedling out of the ground faster and stronger.

Over the years, innovation brought newer technologies (seed treatments, traits and planters) to enhance seed protection during the most vulnerable stage of a crop — the early stages of development. With access to a wide range of ever-evolving tools to protect that seed, promises have been made that certain tools or specific solutions were the missing link in season-long success. But with many options at a growers’ disposal, the future is trending away from viewing these tactics in silos and instead, requiring a mindset shift to a holistic approach called At-Plant. The goal of this approach: Empower growers to get more out of the planter pass across the field.

The building blocks of At-Plant aren’t new to growers, it’s how they can utilize the components together that’s evolving. This approach goes beyond baseline protection. It improves efficiencies and helps maximize seedling productivity. At-Plant utilizes equipment, seed, seed treatments, crop nutrition and crop protection together in a convenient pass across the field to generate optimal yields, enhanced quality and improve crop physiology.

Building a foundation for season-long success

Historically, the main goals of planting were to get the seed properly planted in the furrow at the right time and to make sure it emerged quickly. While these are still important factors, growers are looking for ways to do more to increase uniformity, continue pushing yields and meet the specific needs of their operation.

To Adam Byrne, FMC technical service manager, surviving in the new generation of agricultural production requires comprehensive planning and taking in-field touchpoints, like planting, to the next level. At-Plant fits that criteria.  

“Planning the season, especially planting, has always been a game of chess,” Byrne states. “Now, we just have more pieces on the board. We have to re-evaluate all of our planting crop management tools and find ways to make them work better together so we can maximize the potential of every seed in the field.” 

Byrne identifies the seemingly unending list of newer agronomic challenges as an area which At-Plant thinking can help growers better address these ever-evolving agronomic threats earlier. 

“Growers have pest and disease problems in their fields that tools, like their seed treatments, might help knock back but don’t completely take care of once that residual runs out. There might even be foliar diseases we need to be continually thinking about At-Plant and tweak the planting recipe to address those challenges. This is where our holistic thinking of At-Plant can help us,” Byrne explains. 

One example in particular Byrne points to is a disease that has changed the foliar fungicide space: Tar spot. Emerging later in the season than other diseases, tar spot presents its own unique fungicide application challenges for growers. Xyway® brand fungicides from FMC are At-Plant solutions that have revolutionized the way growers protect their crops against foliar diseases. Until recently, corn growers have only been able to manage foliar diseases with an application during one of the key growth stages: V5 -R1. By applying Xyway brand fungicides at planting, along with proper hybrid selection, it can provide season-long foliar disease protection from the start. The future of planting now involves managing foliar disease proactively from the furrow to protect the crop’s full yield potential.

To deliver these At-Plant solutions, from fertilizer to crop protection, on-planter application systems have been improved to drive efficiencies and effectiveness for growers. Bill Verbeten, FMC technical service manager, sees industry collaboration and technological advancements as the way planters can deliver more than ever before. 

 “There are a number of new products and innovations in At-Plant,” Verbeten explains. “Growers can now take At-Plant application technology and pair it with more advanced fertilizer formulations, biostimulants, biological crop protection products and advanced conventional chemistries.” 

In this thread of innovation, Verbeten points to the 3RIVE 3D® application system, an At-Plant crop protection delivery platform, as a prime example. The system integrates formulation technology, application technology and active ingredients to efficiently cover more ground in less time. Designed with convenience in mind, this application system precisely combines the right amount of product and water, minimizing measurement and operator exposure all while helping produce healthier plant stands and helping increase yields. And because flexibility is a necessary aspect on today’s operations, the 3RIVE 3D application system is built to fit most major planter brands. 

All of these tools — seed, crop nutrition, crop protection and equipment — were designed to help growers maximize the performance of their crops. To help get the most out of every seed, these tactics can no longer go at it alone, or solely late in the season. Utilizing all these tools together in an At-Plant management strategy is the future. The time is now to take advantage of the opportunity to give crops the best possible start. 

“Innovation in At-Plant will increase significantly in the future as technologies are refined and new chemistries come to the market,” Verbeten says. “I expect the At-Plant approach to continue to gain importance as we strive, like we always have, to give our crops the best possible start.” 

Always read and follow all label directions, precautions and restrictions for use. Some products may not be registered for sale or use in all states. FMC, the FMC logo, 3RIVE 3D and Xyway are trademarks of FMC Corporation or an affiliate. ©2023 FMC Corporation. All rights reserved.


Get The Most Out Of Every Plant.