Iowa farm creates a plan to sustain its bottom line
Nothing is ever guaranteed in farming. But when you’re a grower like Phil Pitzenberger, you aren’t asking for a guarantee. You’re looking for the support and advantages you need to be successful and sustain your operation for years to come.
Pitzenberger operates a 3,400-acre corn and soybean operation in Greene, Iowa, with his two brothers and father. Like many growers in 2018, the Pitzenbergers shared concerns on commodity prices. In order to manage the margins and produce a high-quality crop, Pitzenberger knew he’d need the right technology and the right fungicide plan for his operation.
“We've really adapted fungicides for both corn and soybeans. Fungicides have been on soybeans for a few years. Over the last three years, we've really ramped up corn fungicide applications,” Pitzenberger said.
With the use of Priaxor® fungicide and Headline AMP® fungicide, he was able to keep the plants alive longer. Priaxor’s Plant Health benefits of disease control, stress tolerance and growth efficiency helped Pitzenberger’s soybeans stay greener longer by preserving bottom leaves, maintaining middle leaf growth and conserving top leaves.
For his corn, Headline AMP fungicide boosted his crop to reach its full genetic potential. By regulating late-season diseases and enabling the plant to utilize all of its resources for grain fill, Pitzenberger was able to maximize yields.
“They say, ‘If a disease isn’t there, don’t spray it,’” Pitzenberger noted. “Well, I’m 50/50 on that ’cause I’m seeing a lot of Plant Health benefits from spraying the fungicide, with the disease there or not. We’re keeping that plant alive longer. We’re collecting more chlorophyll. We’re building that ear. That’s what we’re trying to put all of our energy into — that kernel fill — and I feel like fungicide has been our next step in doing that. It’s helping us keep that plant healthy as long as we can.”
When it came to selecting the right products and finalizing his fungicide plan, Pitzenberger relied on support from his BASF Innovation Specialist Area Manager to provide an extra voice in his decision-making.
“They're not just sending this product out to the countryside; they've got people out here on the field ready to help you if you need information about rates and timing,” Pitzenberger said. “Those are the two big things we need to know. It might also be active ingredients, or when to spray and when not to spray as far as the crop stage. It’s good to have someone directly from the company to work with on something like that.”
“Farmers love to know that there’s a contact from the company they’re working with who they can call on and get direct information from,” said Nathan Shatek, Pitzenberger’s BASF Innovation Specialist Area Manager. “Knowing that we’re very universal in what we’re talking about and that we have a broad knowledge of everything going on the industry.”
In the wake of concerning commodity prices, Pitzenberger knows his family will do what it takes to sustain their farming legacy. Whether utilizing the support provided to him or the advantages fungicides give his crops, Pitzenberger is looking to protect his bottom line.
“We want to add bushels, not just protect them from weeds. We want to find ways to get more bushels out there; it’s what we need,” said Pitzenberger. “Anything that we can try, we're willing to do it.”
You can learn more about Priaxor or Headline AMP by talking to your local BASF representative.
Always read and follow label directions.
Priaxor and Headline AMP are registered trademarks of BASF.
About BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division
With a rapidly growing population, the world is increasingly dependent on our ability to develop and maintain sustainable agriculture and healthy environments. Working with farmers, agricultural professionals, pest management experts and others, it is our role to help make this possible. That’s why we invest in a strong R&D pipeline and broad portfolio, including seeds and traits, chemical and biological crop protection, soil management, plant health, pest control and digital farming. With expert teams in the lab, field, office and in production, we connect innovative thinking and down-to-earth action to create real world ideas that work – for farmers, society and the planet. In 2017, our division generated sales of €5.7 billion. For more information, please visit www.agriculture.basf.com or any of our social media channels.
At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The more than 115,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into five segments: Chemicals, Performance Products, Functional Materials & Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas. BASF generated sales of €64.5 billion in 2017. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS). Further information at www.basf.com.