Demanding Challenges

Demand for corn and soybeans — the former fueled by the ethanol boom, the latter spearheaded by depleting global stocks — will provide many challenges for retailers this season. What will be the key crop protection issues in 2008? In no particular order, here’s a look into our crystal ball.

Glyphosate Resistance

Weed resistance/tolerance to glyphosate will continue to be a major concern in 2008, especially if corn-on-corn acreage rises as anticipated. Giant ragweed is the latest weed confirmed as resistant, and Extension officials say johnsongrass and lambsquarters are on the “weeds to watch” list.

To help counteract this resistance/tolerance, herbicide manufacturers continue to introduce preemergence herbicide products with different modes of action.

“From a retailer’s viewpoint, it may be more challenging to sell resistance stewardship to growers,” says Chris Boerboom, University of Wisconsin Extension weed scientist. “But if we try to promote good weed management frequently, the resulting yield protection will often include other herbicides in addition to glyphosate which, as a secondary benefit, should aid in stewardship.”

Preventive Fungicide Use

The practice of using a fungicide for healthier plants and higher yields exploded in the corn market last year. BASF estimates that its Headline fungicide was applied on more than 7 million acres of corn and 3 million-plus acres of soybeans in 2007 — much of it by air.

The company says that in 2007, grower results with Headline applied to corn were similar to previous years, averaging yield increases of 12-16 bushels per acre, with many growers reporting even larger yield increases. Growers and aerial applicators were enthusiastic about these results and continued momentum is expected for 2008, says Dr. Gary Fellows, BASF technical manager.

“We had an astronomical increase in demand for aerial applications this year, from 8,000 to 80,000 acres, and I think we’ll see another big increase in 2008,” says Craig Bair with Ag Flight, Inc., who aerially applies products to crops in the York, NE area. “Customers that treated half their corn acres with Headline this year are saying they’ll treat all of their acres next year.”

Western Bean Cutworm

This particular pest has captured a lot of attention in the past few years, spreading rapidly from eastern Iowa all the way to western Ohio between 2004 and 2007. Kevin Steffey, Extension entomologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, says that in many areas, the populations aren’t high enough to be of significant concern. “It isn’t a firmly established corn pest in many areas,” he says.

Steffey recommends that retailers educate their grower-customers about the pest and locate threatening populations through scouting services. “Retailers can help growers plan on controlling Western bean cutworms with Herculex hybrids (from Dow AgroSciences) if they believe that’s necessary,” he says.

Other insect pests to watch for include the variant western corn rootworm. And based on its typical pattern of numbers being up in odd-numbered years and down in even-numbered years, along with evidence that its natural predators are becoming more effective in reducing populations, the soybean aphid isn’t expected to be much of a problem in 2008, says Dan Davidson, DTN analyst.

Asian Soybean Rust

Despite the fact that there hasn’t been a full-blown epidemic in the U.S., soybean rust is becoming an annual problem for growers in the South and Southeast.

“It was earlier, more widespread, and hit soybeans in some areas with some severity,” says Tom Isakeit, Texas A&M University Extension plant pathologist. “It was associated with an unusually wet season. In Texas, most of the new findings were made by scouting commercial fields.”

Just because its appearance deeper into the Corn Belt was too late to threaten yields, retailers and growers should not become complacent, says DTN’s Davidson. Soybean rust also was detected at an ultra low level in far southwest Ontario, Canada, and has been active in two states in Mexico. “One July, we’ll have just the right weather conditions and the right spore load to kickstart an epidemic that will move up from the South, the midSouth, right up into the Corn Belt — and that will be devastating,” he says. “It looks like in most years, we won’t have a problem, but we might get that one year every five or 10 years. We don’t know yet.”

Leave a Reply

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
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
Monsanto Sign
Crop InputsWhat’s Next For Monsanto, Syngenta?
August 28, 2015
After dropping its $47 billion bid to take over Swiss agribusiness firm Syngenta, Monsanto may be turning its focus to Read More
Golden Harvest Corn stalks
Crop InputsMonsanto: Syngenta Not The Only Horse In Crop Protectio…
August 28, 2015
Monsanto Co, having ditched an audacious $46 billion (£30 billion) offer for Syngenta AG, may downshift to a humbler strategy Read More