News Briefs January 13, 2020


News You Can

Use It’s the depth of winter now, but seeds of the next growing season are already being planted in the minds of farmers. Pioneer agronomists are working with farmers to select the best hybrids and varieties, finalize fertility plans, and determine the best agronomic practices. This week’s briefs look at the effect of traditional versus narrow corn row spacing, soybean variety selection and corn head smut. 

Want to speak with an expert on these or other topics? Contact Kacey Birchmier at

Crop Insights

Narrow Versus Traditional Corn Row Spacing

Narrower row spacing is an increasingly popular way to boost corn yields. Today, the vast majority of U.S. corn acres are grown in 30-inch rows with narrow rows defined as any spacing less than 30 inches. Plants in narrow rows are more equally spaced within and across rows. Pioneer research has shown the most consistent positive responses in the northern Corn Belt…Read more

Soybean Variety Selection

Soybean variety selection is the first step in producing a high-yielding crop. Each variety has specific strengths that make it highly suited for a certain environment. Soybean maturity and disease tolerance are two of the most important traits to consider when selecting a variety. However, other traits may be just as critical for local environments, such as high pH soils…Read more

Symptoms of Head Smut on Corn

January is often a time when farmers look back at issues from the past growing season. Identifying issues, such as head smut, before they become problematic can save time, yield and money. Head smut symptoms appear on corn when ears and tassels are formed. Galls form on the tassels and ears but rarely on leaves. Initially, they are covered with a thin layer of tissue that breaks open to expose the black spore masses and threadlike remains of the vascular bundles. Plants also may be severely dwarfed…Read more

In the News

Pioneer® Brand Sorghum Hybrids Bring Home Titles at National Sorghum Producers Yield Contest

Pioneer® brand sorghum hybrids continued their commanding performance in the 2019 National Sorghum Producers (NSP) Yield Contest. Farmers who grew Pioneer brand sorghum hybrids represented 88% of all national first-, second- and third-place winners and earned 22 of 25 first-place national honors in the 2019 contest. Pioneer sorghum hybrids also won 90 of 101 state titles, accounting for 89% of state category winners. More than 75% of NSP Yield Contest winners during the past three years planted Pioneer hybrids.

While many farmers faced a challenging growing season, they knew they could rely on Pioneer’s industry-leading germplasm and strong native traits to maximize yield potential.

Pioneer brand sorghum hybrids “are a showcase to how Pioneer’s elite genetics can result in outstanding yields, even in challenging conditions,” said LeAnn Larson, Pioneer Sorghum Marketing Manager…Read more

Kacey Birchmier Kacey Birchmier

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