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Plot tour combines seed company with NDSU athletics

DuPont Pioneer's A series soybeans were the star of the Tailgate Tour stop in Jamestown, where growers could learn about new products, talk to experts with the company and with North Dakota State University and talk to officials in NDSU's athletic department. (Jenny Schlecht/Agweek)1 / 3
North Dakota State University head softball coach Darren Mueller, administrator Colleen Heimstead and head volleyball coach Jennifer Lopez, from left, say they enjoy events where they get to meet fans. The Tailgate Tour on July 17 in Jamestown, N.D., also gave them an opportunity to learn about agriculture. (Jenny Schlecht/Agweek)2 / 3
Growers learn about DuPont Pioneer's Lumisena seed treatment for soybeans during the Tailgate Tour in Jamestown, N.D., on July 17. (Jenny Schlecht/Agweek)3 / 3

JAMESTOWN, N.D. — Attendees at any plot tour are likely to see plenty of green. But attendees at the Tailgate Tour through eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota saw green and gold.

The North Dakota State University Tailgate Tour, featuring NDSU Director of Athletics Matt Larsen and select Bison coaches and former players, was held in conjunction with a series of DuPont Pioneer GrowingPoint agronomy plot events.

The second stop on the tour was Monday, July 17, in Jamestown, where growers could learn about the company's A series soybeans, Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans and Lumisena fungicide seed treatment.

"This is really about promotion of solutions for growers," said Pat Radermacher, account manager with DuPont Pioneer.

The A series soybeans, which were available in limited quantity for this growing season but will be more widely available in 2018, are supposed to add 2.3 bushels per acre to yield and have the Roundup Ready 2 Xtend technology. The Lumisena fungicide seed treatment provides enhanced protection against phytophthora, a problem more likely to strike in wet years.

Tom Frappier, strategic account manager for DuPont Pioneer, works with growers in "all directions of Jamestown." He called Lumisena a "major step forward" for growers that will be helpful most years in this region. Even with this summer's dry conditions, the crop looks pretty good, he said.

"The crop is, really, given the weather the last couple of weeks, hanging on very well. We're really happy. The soybeans look well," he said.

The new A series soybeans should be able to handle more stressors than past varieties, and Frappier said they are anticipating larger yields in this year's trials.

He said another point he was hoping to talk to growers about at this year's plot tours was DuPont Pioneer's Encirca data management platform.

"We're looking to be that support to help them manage that data using our 90 years of breeding experience and our 70 years of agronomic expertise to help farmers just get more out of every acre," he said.

The Tailgate Tour didn't just feature DuPont Pioneer employees repping their products. It also featured NDSU experts offering information and suggestions. Kirk Howatt, NDSU associate professor of weed science, and Greg Endres, NDSU area specialist — cropping systems, also were at the Jamestown stop.

Radermacher called DuPont Pioneer and NDSU "two strong brands in the geography" and said part of the Tailgate Tour was to allow growers to experience the partnership between the two entities.

Part way through the plot tour, the NDSU athletic department bus arrived, carrying Larsen and a number of coaches and department personnel. The athletic department officials also were on hand at an indoor event following the plot tour where fans could eat, mingle with officials, register to win prizes and pick up some Bison promotional material.

Jennifer Lopez, head volleyball coach, Darren Mueller, head softball coach, and Colleen Heimstead, administrator, said they enjoy events where they get to meet fans and make connections with the public.

However, they said they haven't been to many events that pair athletics with agriculture. Heimstead said it was interesting to learn about advancements in technology in agriculture, while Lopez said the event provided an opportunity to connect with her student athletes.

"A lot of our athletes are in agriculture, and this allows us to understand what they're going through, too," she said.