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Agrimarketing : March 2009
CROPLIFE AMERICA UPDATE MISSOURI FARMER CREDITS CROP PROTECTION PRODUCTS IN YIELD CONTESTWIN Voice of the Industry (continued frompage 57) ences. This involves a larger effort to provide a clear understanding to regulators, legislators and con- sumers of both the direct and indi- rect benefits of our products, the crop protection industry’s steward- ship initiatives and howour prod- ucts contribute in eliminatingworld hunger and alleviating the effects of climate change. While it is commonly known that pesticides help improve crop yields, it is less known that agricul- tural herbicides, also enable growers tomanageweedswithout plowing (or tilling) of the soil. This saves 337 million gallons in tractor fuel annu- ally and prevents an estimated 356 billion pounds of disturbed soil from eroding into rivers and streams. Other types of herbicides are Charles Hinkenberin, Chaffe,MO,winner of theMissouri Soybean Associations’s14th Annual Yield Contest. —Photo courtesy of Ashley Aufdenberg U ncontrolled, pests and disease can attack and quickly decimate a crop, com- promising both yield and quality.Properly used, crop protection products, like the herbicides, insecticides and fungicides developed and produced by CLAmember companies, are indispensable tools in the fight against crop infesta- tions.Missouri farmer, CharlesHinkebein,winner of theMissouriSoybean Association’s (MSA) 14thAnnualYield Contest in both the conventional andNo- Till categories, creditshis impressive yields as the direct result of the essential ben- efits of pesticides. “With a clean start and a clean finish, you’re going to have a good yield, and this year it paid off,” saysHinkebein,whose yields of 109.3 bushels and 92.3 bushels per acre for the conventional andNo-Tillcategorywins exceeded both the Missouri andU.S. soybean yield averages of 38 and 43 bushels per acre. Hinkebein, of Chaffee,MO, began using insecticides and fungicides on his soybean crop five years ago after reading of the success Brazilian andArgen- tinean farmers had in using themto combat soybean rust, a plant disease char- acterized by lesions. “There are somany diseases that soybeans get, particularly hidden things that you can’t always see.We never realized howmuch of our soybean yield was being robbed by things like frog eye and brown stemroot disease, letting the beanswilt away,”continuesHinkebein. “Without insecticides and fungi- cides, disease and insectswould damage the crop—we’ve kept that from happening.We’ve seen great benefits fromthese products over the years— diseases cured, better yields.” TheMSAyield contest encourages farmers to try newpractices to produce higher yields, identifying high-yielding strategies to then sharewith all soy- bean growers to increase overall production. “Pesticides have long helpedfarmers tomaximize their investment and increase their cropproductivity and qualitywhile consumers reap the rewards with abundant affordable, and nutritious food,” says JayVroom, CLAPresident andCEO. “We’repleased ourmembers’ products couldplay a role inMr.Hinke- bein’s recent achievement and in ensuringthat his soybean crop continues to see significantyield increases and further successful seasons.” AM 58 AgriMarketing s March 2009 indispensableweapons against inva- siveweeds and nuisance plants which,whenmowed or pulled, typi- cally growback. The noxiousweeds are killing native plants, suffocating lakes, and plugging reservoir intakeswhile destroying the natural habitats of fish, birds, andmammals. Using herbicides to eradicate nox- iousweeds, rapidly spreading at a deadly rate each year, landman- agers have successfully restored sev- eral endangered species populations which had nearly vanished. The expansion of these nuisance plants would bemuchmore prevalent if it were not for herbicide applications. COMMUNICATIONS In addition to effectively communi- cating pesticides’ agricultural advantages, CLA’s CropLife Foun- dation is actively conducting educa- tional outreach programs advancing sustainable agriculture and the envi- ronmentally sound use of crop pro- tection products, promoting product stewardship through certification and training programs, and funding scientific research intomodern agri- cultural practices. Byworkingwith industry, farm- ers, private and public researchers, and educators, the foundation aims to identify problems aswell as solu- tions toward establishing a sustain- able, environmentally-sound, and economical global agriculture. AM