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

Crop InputsBayer CropScience: A Decade Of Innovation
September 3, 2015
BLAMS! It’s not a sound effect from the pages of a Superhero comic book. Instead this nifty acronym is used Read More
Melissa Olds Dow AgroSciences
Crop InputsDow AgroSciences: Highlighting The Past, Present & Future
September 2, 2015
In general, media events held by large agricultural suppliers tend to focus primarily on what plans the company has in Read More
Wilbur Ellis Pink Soybean Seed Treatment
Crop InputsWilbur-Ellis Goes Pink With Soybean Seed Treatments For Breast Cancer Awareness
September 1, 2015
This past year, proceeds of pink-dyed soybeans treated and sold to Wilbur-Ellis seed customers in Chester, SD, went to two Read More
Syngenta Sign
FungicidesSyngenta’s Newest Fungicide Receives EPA Approval
September 1, 2015
Syngenta announced today that its newest succinate dehydrogenase inhibitor (SDHI) fungicide – Solatenol – has received registration from EPA and Read More
Top 100 Articles
Crop InputsLand ‘O Lakes, United Suppliers Finalize Merger
August 24, 2015
According to a press release on August 24, owners of United Suppliers, Inc. and members of Land O’Lakes, Inc. “have Read More
West Central Cooperative, Jefferson, IA
CropLife 100Iowa Cooperatives To Explore Unification
August 19, 2015
The boards of directors at two of Iowa’s leading farmer-owned cooperatives yesterday signed a letter of intent to study the Read More
CropLife 100Southern States Coop Hosting Drone Flight This Friday
August 3, 2015
Southern States Cooperative — No. 9 on the CropLife 100 — is hosting an FAA-approved drone demonstration at Grandview Farms Read More
CropLife 100Aligned Ag Distributors Adds Four New Owners
July 30, 2015
Aligned Ag Distributors LLC has announced the addition of four new customer/owners to Franklin Holding Co. LLC. They are: The Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Purchases California-Based Specialty Crops Retailer
July 20, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings has successfully acquired California-based NH3 Service Co.  Operating as part of Pinnacle’s Performance Agriculture brand, the new locations Read More
Asmus Farm Supply liquid fertilizer facility features 20,000 square feet
CropLife 100Slideshow: Asmus Farm Supply Shows Off Its New Liquid Fertilizer Facility
July 15, 2015
Asmus Farm Supply, Rake, IA, recently added a new liquid fertilizer facility to its company operations. The new liquid fertilizer Read More
Latest News
StewardshipOgallala Aquifer At Risk
September 4, 2015
The Ogallala Aquifer, with total water storage capacity about equal to that of Lake Huron in the Midwest, is the Read More
Valley Irrigation variable rate irrigation
StewardshipNebraska Getting Water Conservation Right
September 4, 2015
A precipitation map of Nebraska looks startlingly like a rainbow, with each colored band marking a different level of rainfall. Read More
Crop InputsBayer CropScience: A Decade Of Innovation
September 3, 2015
BLAMS! It’s not a sound effect from the pages of a Superhero comic book. Instead this nifty acronym is used Read More
ManagementReviewing MAGIE 2015
September 2, 2015
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj talks what he saw at the recent Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) show. Read More
Melissa Olds Dow AgroSciences
Crop InputsDow AgroSciences: Highlighting The Past, Present & …
September 2, 2015
In general, media events held by large agricultural suppliers tend to focus primarily on what plans the company has in Read More
Mobile tablet
OpinionTaking Data Head On
September 2, 2015
As you read this column, I’m hoping that if you picked up the phone and gave me a call, you’d Read More
Young soybean field
Industry NewsArysta LifeScience Announces New Business Unit Head For…
September 1, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America announces the addition of Rico Christensen, Business Unit Head, North America. Christensen will have responsibility for Read More
Wilbur Ellis Pink Soybean Seed Treatment
Crop InputsWilbur-Ellis Goes Pink With Soybean Seed Treatments For…
September 1, 2015
This past year, proceeds of pink-dyed soybeans treated and sold to Wilbur-Ellis seed customers in Chester, SD, went to two Read More
SprayersNORAC Active Wing Roll Slated For More Sprayers
September 1, 2015
NORAC Systems, a member of the Topcon Positioning Group, announces the release of Active Wing Roll for RoGator, Apache, New Read More
Syngenta Sign
FungicidesSyngenta’s Newest Fungicide Receives EPA Approval
September 1, 2015
Syngenta announced today that its newest succinate dehydrogenase inhibitor (SDHI) fungicide – Solatenol – has received registration from EPA and Read More
Flooded corn in Indiana
Crop InputsDelaying The Fertilizer Decision
September 1, 2015
Comments gathered from several retailers recently evidenced a classic good-news-bad-news scenario. Good news is prices and supplies of nitrogen, phosphate, Read More
StewardshipBee Buffer Strip Initiative Seeks 100 Ohio Farmers
August 31, 2015
The U.S. Bee Buffer Project, an initiative of the Pollinator Partnership (P2), Burt’s Bees and The Burt’s Bees Greater Good Read More
2015 ShowStopper Award, MAGIE
EquipmentA ShowStopper From Case IH: The Patriot 2250
August 31, 2015
For nine years now, visitors to the yearly Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) show have been tasked with not only Read More
Crop InputsMonsanto, FMC Expand Roundup Ready PLUS Platform
August 31, 2015
FMC Corp. and Monsanto Co. announced today an expanded agreement to continue their participation in the Roundup Ready PLUS Crop Read More
Deere Nutrient Applicator
Eric SfiligojThe Good & Bad News From MAGIE
August 31, 2015
As I write this column, I’ve just returned from the annual Midwest AG Industries (MAGIE) trade show in Bloomington, IL. Read More
CPS Morenci receiving its 4R certification
StewardshipCPS Morenci Becomes First Michigan Facility Certified I…
August 31, 2015
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that Crop Production Services, Inc.’s facility located in Morenci, MI, has been Read More
EquipmentDeere Announces Soucy Track Distribution Alliance
August 28, 2015
John Deere announces an alliance with Soucy Track to sell and distribute products through the John Deere dealer channel. “This Read More
FertilizerFall-Applied Phosphorus: A Rooted Investment
August 28, 2015
As commodity prices decrease and input prices continue to rise, farmers are seeking more efficient strategies for meeting a high Read More