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

HerbicidesScouting Key To Next Season’s Soybean Herbicide Program
August 12, 2014
When growing soybeans, growers need to think ahead to stay one step ahead of weeds. That means examining weed threats and evaluating which herbicides work best. Read More
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Delivers Two New Winter Wheat Varieties To Eastern Corn Belt
August 6, 2014
Adding to its portfolio of AgriPro brand wheat varieties, Syngenta introduces SY 007 and SY 474 soft red winter wheat varieties. Read More
Aerial view of the West Fertilizer explosion site
FertilizerFertilizer Companies Blame City For West, TX, Explosion
August 6, 2014
El Dorado Chemical Co. and CF Industries contend the city failed to properly train the first responders and had insufficient protocols in place to battle the April 17, 2013, blaze at West Fertilizer Co. that triggered the explosion. Read More
FungicidesResearchers Target Soybean Disease With Genetic Resistance Study
August 6, 2014
University of Illinois researchers will share new information on controlling sudden death syndrome through genetic resistance at this year's Agronomy Day. Read More

Trending Articles

ManagementExpert To Discuss Farmland Value, Rent At Farm Science Review
August 18, 2014
While cropland values in Ohio increased in the past two years, they have remained flat in 2014, declining in some cases, according to an Ohio State University agricultural economist. Read More
EquipmentAdvance Your Technology IQ At MAGIE
August 13, 2014
The Midwest AG Industries Exposition (August 20-21) is the place you need to be to see, study and evaluate how new advances in the equipment, operations, crop protection and fertility sectors can help your business prosper. Read More
HerbicidesScouting Key To Next Season’s Soybean Herbicide Program
August 12, 2014
When growing soybeans, growers need to think ahead to stay one step ahead of weeds. That means examining weed threats and evaluating which herbicides work best. Read More
StewardshipMichigan Agriculture Leaders On Toledo Water Ban: We Want To Be Part Of The Conversation
August 8, 2014
Leaders of Michigan agricultural organizations said Thursday that the government should not have a “knee-jerk reaction” based on last weekend’s water ban in Toledo due to fertilizer run-off in Lake Erie. Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Acquires Lemon Ag Services
August 4, 2014
The acquisition of Lemon Ag fits BRANDT’s aggressive corporate strategy of providing superior agronomic advice and services for customers in central Illinois. Read More
Eric SfiligojThe Resurgence Of Crop Protection
August 4, 2014
Plenty of new offerings over the next few years should see a rebirth for the crop protection products category in terms of market share. Read More

Latest News

CropLife 100Pinnacle Acquires California-Based Retailer
August 29, 2014
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings will acquire Kerman Ag Resources, Inc., which will operate under Pinnacle's Performance Agriculture brand. Read More
Allied Cooperative Grain Plant
ManagementArcadia Co-op To Merge With Allied Cooperative
August 28, 2014
Allied Cooperative has announced that members of Arcadia Co-op voted in favor of a merger with Allied Cooperative, paving the way for the consolidation which will be effective on December 1, 2014. Read More
InsecticidesBioinsecticide VENERATE Now Registered In California
August 27, 2014
Marrone Bio Innovations' VENERATE is a new tool to help California growers control crop-damaging insect pests, fight the development of insect resistance and reduce pesticide residues on fruits and vegetables. Read More
CropLife 100Two Iowa-Based Ag Co-ops To Merge
August 27, 2014
The Board of Directors and management of United Western Coop, Missouri Valley, IA has completed a merger with Heartland Co-op, West Des Moines, IA, effective September 1, 2014. Read More
FertilizerKoch Expands AGROTAIN Nitrogen Stabilizer Portfolio
August 26, 2014
Koch Agronomic Services, LLC has added two new innovative nitrogen stabilizers to the AGROTAIN product family – AGROTAIN ADVANCED and AGROTAIN DRI-­MAXX. Read More
Seed/BiotechDuPont To Build Two Seed Treatment Centers
August 26, 2014
DuPont has announced construction on two state-of-the-art centers dedicated to developing and testing seed treatment formulations, applications and seed handling techniques in an important step toward bringing new solutions to growers. Read More
Seed/BiotechLoveland Products Acquires A Controlling Interest In Ag…
August 26, 2014
Loveland Products, a subsidiary of Agrium , has announced the company has acquired a controlling interest in Agricen, a Dallas-area agricultural biotechnology company delivering biochemical-based products for efficient and sustainable plant nutrition. Read More
StewardshipUp Close Look At The 2014 Environmental Respect Award W…
August 25, 2014
The 2014 Environmental Respect Award winners were honored recently at the 24th annual event in Wilmington, DE. Read More
Eric SfiligojAg Science Rejection Carries Consequences
August 25, 2014
As innuendo and fear dog the regulatory process, agriculture can’t get the new tools it needs to combat world hunger. Read More
LegislationFarmers Dismayed As New Farm Bill Dumps Direct Payments
August 25, 2014
The threatened end of cash subsidies to the nation’s row crop farmers dates back through at least the last two iterations of national agriculture policy legislation. Read More
MAGIE 2014 ShowStopper
EquipmentJohn Deere Again Wins MAGIE ShowStopper Award
August 25, 2014
For the second consecutive year, John Deere was honored at the Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) for its new R4045 sprayer. Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK CEO To Retire
August 22, 2014
GROWMARK chief executive officer Jeff Solberg has announced his retirement effective September 15, 2014. Read More
InsecticidesDuPont’s Prevathon Approved For Dry Beans
August 22, 2014
DuPont Prevathon insect control powered by Rynaxypyr has received EPA registration for foliar use on dry bean crops, including dried shelled peas and beans. Read More
ManagementNCGA DuPont New Leaders Program Enters Sophmore Season
August 20, 2014
The National Corn Growers Association and DuPont are pleased to announce the second year of the NCGA DuPont New Leaders Program. Read More
FungicidesVerdesian Links Up With Mitsui, Hokusan
August 20, 2014
Mitsui Chemicals Agro, Inc., and Hokusan Co., announced the signing of an exclusive licensing agreement allowing Verdesian Life Sciences global access to its patented technology for suppressing mycotoxin contamination in wheat and barley. Read More
SprayersUniversity Of Illinois Introduces New Spray App
August 18, 2014
University of Illinois Extension has released a new smartphone app for making sprayer-related calculations. Pesticide Spray Calculator, or Spray Calc, Read More
Crop InputsSyngenta Names New Manager Of Federal Government Relati…
August 18, 2014
Laura Wood Peterson has joined Syngenta as manager of federal government relations, based in Washington, DC. Read More
ManagementExpert To Discuss Farmland Value, Rent At Farm Science …
August 18, 2014
While cropland values in Ohio increased in the past two years, they have remained flat in 2014, declining in some cases, according to an Ohio State University agricultural economist. Read More