Generations worth of research and development have brought technologies and management practices allowing control of pests, weeds, and soil fertility in ways unimagined a few decades ago. However, weather is an essential aspect of production that remains wholly uncontrollable. Even when everything is done right, without rain, the crops will not grow. Irrigation helps, but it is not an option for everyone and with concerns over aquafer sustainability and stability, certain areas of the country could see use of irrigation curtailed. We can’t change the weather, but researchers have worked to change corn, resulting in hybrids that are more stress tolerant and use water more efficiently.
Optimum® AQUAmax® products are the result of years of research and development by DuPont Pioneer. Researchers began by identifying lines that performed well under drought conditions and had a number of desirable agronomic traits. They then created a genetic fingerprint of these lines and developed new hybrids. The new hybrids were genetically tested to ensure the identified genes were inherited. If a hybrid inherited the genes coded for enhanced stress tolerance, it advanced to yield testing under drought conditions and in high yielding environments. Those hybrids that exceeded check means under drought conditions and equaled or exceeded check means in high yielding environments were advanced for commercialization. Long story short, Optimum AQUAmax products bring great yields under normal, low stress growing conditions and offer improved performance under drought conditions.
To develop Agrisure Artesian®, Syngenta scientists started by identifying genes associated with increased drought tolerance. Then, selected plants containing these genes for use in testing and development. The new hybrids were extensively tested in both water limited environments and under high yielding, low stress conditions. Only hybrids containing the specific genes coded for improved drought tolerance and yield significantly better than check averages in both low stress and drought environments receive the Artesian label. Artesian hybrids are designed to maximize yield when it rains and increase yields when it doesn’t.
Neither Optimum AQUAmax nor Agrisure Artesian are transgenic traits. Since both were developed utilizing genes native to corn, it is possible to offer conventional hybrids carrying the labels. Both products are available in premier genetic packages, adding yield in normal, low stress growing seasons. In addition, both technologies offer about a 10% increase in yield under drought conditions when compared to similar hybrids that do not have water optimization technology as part of their genetic make-up.
Through our multi-brand strategy, Burrus is able to offer growers both Optimum AQUAmax and Agrisure Artesian products to protect your bottom line when it rains and when it doesn’t.