Crop Protection: Chomping At The Bit

Japanese beetles

Every season, it’s the same concern: keeping insects and diseases from taking a big bite out of your grower-customers’ corn and soybean yields.

How are retailers dealing with the key insects and diseases in their area? CropLife® magazine talked to a few CropLife 100 retailers to get their take.

Timely Scouting

Integrated pest management practices and timely scouting are the keys to protecting your grower-customers’ yields from insects and diseases, says Ernie Holycross, plant manager for Allerton Supply Co., Homer, IL. “I still like to scout and see if it’s worth spraying, because every year’s a little different,” he says.

For example, soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is a common problem in his area, so SCN-resistant soybeans varieties are plentiful. “However, 90% are only resistant to certain SCN races,” he says, so he reminds growers to scout for threshold levels.

He also talks to them about the importance of soil sampling. “We need to take soil samples every two years to see if the SCN is growing in numbers,” he explains. Yet despite knowing the damage SCN can cause, some growers balk at paying $25 to $35 per soil sample as soybean prices drop.

Other soybean pest concerns include Japanese and bean leaf beetles and soybean aphids. “We’re going to try some insecticides on some high-yielding soybean plots to see if we can bump yields no matter what the bean leaf beetle or Japanese beetle infestation,” he says.

On the corn side, corn rootworm beetles, and larvae are bad every year in his territory, but Holycross says his growers — who primarily plant genetically modified corn — tend to forget about the secondary pests like wireworms and grubs. “We haven’t had a major infestation yet, but need to keep scouting,” he says.

Spray Early

Soybean grower-customers of Hills, IA-based Eldon C. Stutsman primarily deal with soybean aphids every season, says Steve Meyerholz, agronomy manager. “Aphids are the worst,” he says. “We generally spray pretty early and pretty regularly. The threshold is 250 aphids per plant, but we’ll spray earlier than that because we think there’s more damage being done if we wait for the threshold amount.”

Bean leaf beetles hurt the soybeans earlier, he says, so “we’ll add an insecticide at the first Roundup spray to get rid of them.”

Weather affects insects. “In dry years we get spider mites,” says Meyerholz. “Last year we ended up spraying the majority of our soybean acres for spider mites.”

Management Critical

The insects and diseases may be a little different in the South compared to the Midwest, but the concerns are the same.

“In general, depending on environmental conditions, the insects that will be most troublesome in soybeans will be stinkbugs, beanleaf beetles, grasshoppers, and possibly soybean loopers,” says Dr. Michael Kenty, product specialist for Collierville, TN-based Helena Chemical‘s Southern business. “In corn, most problems will be attributed to stinkbugs and corn borers. Stinkbugs continue to be problematic throughout the Southern U.S. due to the increased soybean and corn acres and the wide range of hosts.

“The key to managing these and all insects is to scout and properly identify the insect in order to choose the best insecticide,” Kenty says. “This is especially true of stinkbugs since there are several different types and not all are controlled equally by the different insecticides available.”

However, the most problematic insect the past few years has been the plant bug. “Typically associated with damage in cotton, their populations build up in soybeans and corn,” says Kenty. “If left unchecked in areas where cotton is grown, the population being hosted in corn and soybeans will seek out cotton as the corn and soybeans acres mature and dry down. This may seem like simple migration from one host to another — but the concentration is magnified as the plant bugs move to the lower number of acres of cotton. Timely scouting and a good pest management program are the best offense.”

Monitor Diseases

Kenty and Holycross note that gray leaf spot is the most prevalent corn disease. Kenty adds that “aflatoxin always looms as a potential problem to plague the selling of the crop.”

Soil-borne diseases attack soybeans, including Phytophthora and Pythium, and in the South, the late-season foliar disease, frogeye leaf spot.

A comprehensive, aggressive crop management program that includes seed treatments, sound season-long fertility, and foliar disease monitoring/timely fungicide application are recommended. “It is more effective to take a proactive approach to pest management than to wait for a pest to reach economic thresholds,” says Kenty.

Meyerholz says that while his growers’ crops don’t have a lot of disease problems, around 40% of his growers continue to use Headline fungicide as a preventive measure in soybeans. Holycross, on the other hand, says his aerial spraying in corn will be cut nearly in half due to financing.

Leave a Reply

One comment on “Crop Protection: Chomping At The Bit

  1. I was given this site for a fungicide p[roduct called Citrox. Was this ever a product used in America. Is it still around – was it ever used on anything.
    Thanks.

Crop Inputs Stories

Untreated soybean seed Heartland Coop
Seed/BiotechMarrone Bio Innovations, Groundwork BioAg Bio-stacked Microbial Seed Treatments Result In Increased Yields
February 13, 2017
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. and Groundwork BioAg, Ltd have announced successful seed treatment field trials of the world’s first all-biological Read More
Fertilizer Storage
Crop InputsThe State Of The Fertilizer Industry
February 9, 2017
He’s all hat, no horse.” It’s a humorous way of describing a person who tells a good story, but is Read More
Corn Field
InsecticidesArysta LifeScience, DuPont Collaborate On Rynaxpyr Premix Formulations
February 8, 2017
Arysta LifeScience recently announced that it has entered into a global collaboration with DuPont Crop Protection for the development of Read More
World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit Panel 2016
Crop InputsWorld Agri-Tech Innovation Summit To Be Held In San Francisco
February 8, 2017
“Breakthrough Applications and Business Models for Sustainable Farming” is the theme of the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit to be held Read More
Trending Articles
Farmer and aptop
Matt Hopkins10 Warning Signs Your Website Is Grossly Outdated
February 8, 2017
Your Website is often a visitor’s first impression of your ag retail business. A positive first impression can set the Read More
AgriSync
Matt Hopkins17 Agriculture Apps That Will Help You Farm Smarter In 2017
December 9, 2016
Ag professionals are working smarter, not harder, than ever before. Smart farming technologies have enabled them to reduce costs, maximize Read More
R4023 Sprayer, John Deere
CropLife 100Ag Retail Equipment Report: The Green Party Continues
December 7, 2016
In the annual race for sales in the ag retail equipment marketplace, the color schemes for participants are a little Read More
Mike Stern
Precision AgClimate Corp. CEO Talks Retailer Support For Digital Ag
December 1, 2016
CropLife Magazine’s sister publication, AgriBusiness Global, recently sat down with Mike Stern, CEO of The Climate Corp., following the Monsanto subsidiary’s Read More
Precision AgTrimble Debuts End-to-End FMIS Platform
November 28, 2016
October’s inaugural PrecisionAg Vision Conference left this author with many thoughts and things to ponder in the coming months. Probably Read More
CHS Primeland
CropLife 100The 2016 CropLife 100 Report: Reviewing The Many Bulls And Bears Impacting This Year’s Marketplace
November 28, 2016
For virtually all of 2016, the nation was wholly focused on the big Presidential election. Some folks aligned themselves with Read More
Latest News
SprayersApache 1000 Series Sprayer Earns 2017 EquipmentWatch Hi…
February 21, 2017
ET Works has been named a winner in the 2017 EquipmentWatch Highest Retained Value Awards program, the industry’s only award Read More
Measuring Bulk Tanks
StewardshipMeister Media Among 2017 Award Winners Presented By The…
February 21, 2017
The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance (TPSA) held its annual conference in San Diego, CA, earlier this month where three awards were Read More
John Reifsteck
CropLife 100GROWMARK’s Reifsteck Earns NCFC Director Of The Y…
February 21, 2017
GROWMARK Chairman of the Board and President John Reifsteck has earned the prestigious Director of the Year Award from the Read More
Roy Blunt
LegislationARA Recognizes Blunt, Heitkamp For Legislative Efforts …
February 17, 2017
Agricultural industry continues to face federal regulatory challenges. Thankfully, agriculture’s allies in the U.S. Senate stepped forward. The Agricultural Retailers Read More
LegislationThe Fertilizer Institute Commends Senate On Confirmatio…
February 17, 2017
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) President Chris Jahn issued the following statement on the Senate confirmation of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Read More
Trump, Senate, Cabinet
LegislationBREAKING: Trump EPA Nominee Scott Pruitt Confirmed by S…
February 17, 2017
Scott Pruitt, who as Oklahoma’s attorney general spent years suing the Environmental Protection Agency over its efforts to regulate various Read More
ManagementFebruary Road Trip Edition
February 17, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss their recent visits to Indiana and Kentucky. Read More
Heritage Cooperative Finished Building Aerial
ManagementHeritage Cooperative, Agland Co-op Approve Merger
February 17, 2017
Agland Co-op and Heritage Cooperative stockholders have both approved the merger agreement between Agland Co-op and Heritage Cooperative. Now begins Read More
LegislationARA Fly-In: Ag Retail Descends on Capitol Hill, Lawmake…
February 15, 2017
More than 100 agricultural retailers, distributors and suppliers headed to Capitol Hill Tuesday morning for the Agribusiness Congressional Fly-in, according to a Read More
Untreated soybean seed Heartland Coop
Seed/BiotechMarrone Bio Innovations, Groundwork BioAg Bio-stacked M…
February 13, 2017
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. and Groundwork BioAg, Ltd have announced successful seed treatment field trials of the world’s first all-biological Read More
NL5000 With G5 Technology
SpreadersNew Leader Introduces NL5000 Dry Nutrient Applicator Wi…
February 13, 2017
New Leader, a division of Highway Equipment Company (HECO), has announced the next generation of spreading technology with the NL5000 Read More
Fertilizer Storage
Crop InputsThe State Of The Fertilizer Industry
February 9, 2017
He’s all hat, no horse.” It’s a humorous way of describing a person who tells a good story, but is Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Agriculture Agrees To Credit Agreement Amendme…
February 9, 2017
Pinnacle Operating Corp. has entered into an amendment (the “Amendment”) to its First Lien Credit Agreement that will provide for, Read More
ManagementUpdates on Upcoming Trips, Dow-DuPont, and the Des Moin…
February 9, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj review a few future travels, along with the latest on big company mergers and Read More
Championship Tractor Pull
EquipmentNational Farm Machinery Show Highlighted By Championshi…
February 9, 2017
The scream of monster engines, the stench of burning rubber and the ground-pounding vibrations of the country’s largest, loudest and Read More
Farmer and aptop
Matt Hopkins10 Warning Signs Your Website Is Grossly Outdated
February 8, 2017
Your Website is often a visitor’s first impression of your ag retail business. A positive first impression can set the Read More
Corn Field
InsecticidesArysta LifeScience, DuPont Collaborate On Rynaxpyr Prem…
February 8, 2017
Arysta LifeScience recently announced that it has entered into a global collaboration with DuPont Crop Protection for the development of Read More
Industry NewsThe Fertilizer Institute Board Elects New Chairman, Vic…
February 8, 2017
The Fertilizer Institute’s (TFI) Board of Directors has elected Chuck Magro, President and CEO of Agrium, and Tony Will, President Read More