Meet the Industry Member: BASF September 8, 2020
Focus on Production Traits and Unit Seed Bags
Hello, my name is Matt Smith, Seed Advisor for BASF in Montana and northwest North Dakota. BASF is proud to be a member of the PNW Canola Association, and thanks you for letting us participate and aid in the growth of acres in the region. We also recognize that a significant amount of our North American InVigor seed production occurs in Montana and Washington. Thank you to the canola growers who continue to produce a high-quality seed product for us!
InVigor Hybrid Canola in the Pacific Northwest
InVigor is BASF’s industry-leading brand of hybrid spring canola seed. The growing conditions and agronomic situations in the PNW greatly differ from area to area. InVigor currently offers canola growers a wide range of hybrid choices, and that allows for a lot of flexibility depending on where you farm. I have been with the InVigor canola business (previously Bayer) for 10 years in Montana. I am happy to say that InVigor genetics have not fallen off with the transfer of companies. The current line up looks excellent, and the pipeline/ R&D budget is situated well also.
The Pod Shatter Reduction Trait
The “P” attached to an InVigor hybrid name indicates it carries the Pod Shatter Reduction trait. InVigor carries a patented gene which alters the canola pod structure, allowing for reduced risk of shatter from wind, hail, or even the harvesting process. This has been a game changer for canola growers in the U.S. and Canada. To put things in perspective, many growers in North Dakota did not harvest canola planted last year until this spring due to terrible 2019 harvest conditions that resulted in crop left in the field all winter. Despite the very delayed harvest, growers still had 2000+ lb/acre yields. All InVigor hybrids for the U.S. market going forward will carry the “P” trait.
300 Series Hybrids: New for 2021
The first number on an InVigor hybrid is the series, and new for 2021 is the latest line of genetic improvements in canola, the 300 series. BASF does not release a new series unless significant genetic gains have been achieved. All our 300 series hybrids have at least a 7% yield advantage over L233P, which is currently the market standard spring canola hybrid in the US. L233P and other 200 series products will continue to be available, however as noted we are seeing significant improvements with the 300 series.
For growers in the PNW, key hybrids to focus on for 2021 are InVigor L345PC (pictured above in a seed production field in MT), L340PC, and LR344PC. Be sure to check the seed supplier page to see where you can purchase our hybrids in the PNW.
- L345PC will be launched in full for 2021, has the top yield potential of any spring canola available on the market today. Our yield data from this year is currently coming in, and L345PC is exceeding yield expectations again. L345PC also has excellent stress tolerance, allowing it to perform well in hotter, dryer areas. Based on internal trial data, we are seeing an 11% yield advantage with L345PC over L233P.
- L340PC will be a limited launch for 2021. It yields similarly to L345PC but is a shorter statured plant. This hybrid will be an excellent choice for irrigated growers in high yield environments, where standability is critical.
- LR344PC will be a limited launch for 2021. This is a stacked hybrid, with both the LibertyLink and Roundup Ready TruFlex traits. Resistant grass weed issues are a major problem for PNW growers, they now have a RR offering with the InVigor brand. Growers now have herbicide flexibility in combination with best in class pod shatter reduction. LR344PC is also our earliest maturing 300 series hybrid.
Seeding by the Unit
In 2019, InVigor pioneered unit-based bags in canola, in line with corn and soybeans. InVigor is offered in A, B, C, or D range bags, with A being the smallest seed size and D the largest. Each bag has the number of seeds (minimum 4.25 million seeds) needed to plant 10 acres based on thousand seed weight. When canola is seeded by the unit, a consistent seed size is guaranteed to target a live plant population of 5-8 plants sq/ft. BASF research has determined that this is the optimal plant population for InVigor to maximize yield. If growers want to seed lighter or heavier rates, each InVigor bag or tote also contains a yellow tag which explains target plant populations based on chosen seeding rate.
If you are currently seeding by the pound from a 50 lb bag, please be aware of seed size. Being such a small seed, canola seed size varies greatly, directly impacting plant populations. InVigor unit bags eliminate the guessing in this regard.
Be Clubroot Aware!
While clubroot is not a problem in the PNW yet, all canola growers in this region should be aware of this disease. Clubroot is a soil-borne, fungal pathogen. The most at-risk fields for clubroot are 1:1 canola rotation, or canola/canola rotations (yes this does occur)! High pH soils also increase disease risk. Any used farm equipment purchased from Canada, specifically Alberta, should be thoroughly sanitized. Clubroot is a significant problem in Alberta, the rest of Canada, and parts of North Dakota.
All InVigor hybrids that carry the “C” in their name either offer first or second generation Clubroot resistance genetics. Clubroot resistance does not eliminate the disease but does help reduce spore load, which is critical to reducing the impact and spread of the disease. If you are not in a clubroot area but think you may be higher risk based on factors defined above, it is still a best practice to plant a resistant hybrid.
Virtual Plot Tour
If you would like to see some of the hybrids and agronomic concepts mentioned above in a video format, please attend our virtual plot tour at https://vimeo.com/showcase/7470082. The password is 345.
Feel free to reach out to me anytime (firstname.lastname@example.org, 406-200-0424) with questions about our hybrids or other canola production questions.
Matt Smith, Seed Advisor NW ND – MT – WY