Battling Bugs For Yields

When measuring up the 2007 season, Aaron Locker, FMC product manager, sees a batch of challenges, some unique to this time and place in corn and soybean production. “I would boil them down to three broad categories: insecticide resistance, shifts in pest spectrums, and “our old friend the weather,” he says.

With the opportunities of more corn acres, it’s all really going to come down to protecting and increasing stand and yield, he believes.

Pest Shifts

Locker notes that the at-plant insecticide business in general has steadily been declining, mainly due to the adoption of seed treatments and GMO seeds. As a result, pests like cutworms have been flaring up in the Eastern Corn Belt as have the variant rootworms in the middle Belt, he says. He also saw “a lot of everything” last year – wireworms, grubs, armyworm – in assorted hot spots.

“Growers have a good base in a seed treatment or GMO seed, but may have to add something to broaden the spectrum,” he says. That’s where FMC’s new Capture LFR (Liquid Fertilizer Ready) could come in, a liquid formulation of bifenthrin that mixes with liquid fertilizer as easily as it does with water. “Growers can plant, fertilize, and protect their seed investment in one trip, dramatically reducing fuel costs,” says Locker.

Mike Snyder of AMVAC Chemicals also sees the transgenic pressures – in the form of two key issues for dealers entering the season: “helping growers manage corn rootworm pests on refuge acres and maintaining profitability as transgenic varieties displace more profitable granular insecticides.

AMVAC makes the SmartBox application system which handles Aztec 4.67G, Force 3G, Fortress 5G – and for 2007, Lorsban 15G and Thimet 20G. “University extension entomologists recommend that growers give strong consideration to granular soil insecticides on refuge acres to ensure good performance,” says Snyder.

Soybean Enemies

Most of the soybean specialists we talked with expressed concern that this is the “on” year for soybean aphid, a pest that seems to hit high populations every other season. “We have battled infestations of soybean aphids annually in the Midwest since 2001; however, how broad and massive the infestation becomes will ultimately depend upon our summer weather patterns,” says Hank King, Dow AgroSciences, maker of the Lorsban 4E.

Says Locker: “With the warm weather and even before this – last fall – people were starting to see populations build in buckthorn.”

Dow has submitted a registration package to EPA for a combination insecticide that contains two proven active ingredients that are effective on soybean aphids as well as many other pests. The company hopes for approval by late summer, “to tap into some of these traditional row crop markets where many late season pests commonly occur,” says King.

Mike Jirak, seed treatment crop manager at Syngenta, points out that entomologists are warning that fields are set up not only for high populations of aphids, but bean leaf beetles as well. He notes that Syngenta’s Cruiser seed treatment is an established product here, but in a development late last year, research was able to explain the improved “plant health” demonstrated by the treatment in soybeans as well as many other crops. The “Thiamethoxam Vigor Effect” increases the production of plant-specific proteins, providing stronger stress (water deficiency, heat shock, pests, and elevated salt levels) defense capabilities.

Resistance Concerns

Several products have been effective against the aphids, but “given the history of other aphid species developing resistance to insecticides, there is the concern that growers may be at risk of insecticide failures in the future,” say Matt O’Neal and Kevin Johnson, Extension entomologists at Iowa State University.

Coby Long, senior insecticide brand manager with Syngenta – and maker of aphid insecticide Warrior – sees good rotation as part of good insecticide resistance management. In fact within Syngenta itself, he says, “probably our number one priority is managing products to keep them as tools for growers. We’re looking at putting together portfolio recommendations of mixing alternate modes of action for giving broader spectrum control.”

Tide Of Treatments

Talk of pest control isn’t complete without a look at the booming seed treatment segment. Mark Jirak, seed treatment crop manager at Syngenta, estimates that 75% of corn seed will be treated for 2007, up from 60% in 2006. In soybeans, 38% will be treated with a fungicide or fungicide/insecticide combination, up from 34% in 2006.

What’s A Retailer To Do

Think out of the box. “Be open to new methods, new routes for choosing insecticides, not only from the ‘quick kill’ factor, but from a resistance management strategy and safety profile,” says Richard Warriner, insecticide product manager with BASF. “These newer chemistries may be a bit slower, but the nice part is they’re much more friendly to the environment, beneficials, and worker safety.” BASF anticipates registration of its new worm and beetle insecticide Alverde for vegetables and potatoes during 2007. The company also debuts their pyrethroid Respect this year, through a licensing agreement with FMC.

Yemel Ortega, product manager at FMC Corp. advises dealers to recommend options that will preserve “excellent” chemistry that’s been on the market for a while – “but open some space for the new compounds because that’s going to add value for growers and work in favor of sustainable crop production. I think we’re gaining momentum in integrated pest management. It takes time, but I think the crop protection industry is in better shape to contribute to managing resistance issues.”

Tap Extension. Be in touch with the local university extension people, consultants, or PCAs, depending on your part of the country, says Amit Gupta, business manager for U.S. insecticides and fungicides with DuPont. “Look for the right information which is actionable with recommended, tried and tested products.” (He is also excited about new active ingredient that DuPont has in the final stages of development, called rynaxypyr. It provides long-lasting, broad-spectrum control of chewing insects in many field and specialty crops. Now working with regulatory agencies, DuPont hopes to see registration in 1 to 1 ½ years.)

Be on the lookout. Even in late summer after a long, tiring season, we must get out and scout, says Dow’s King. Favorable environmental conditions can allow insect pests to reach economic thresholds, and if untreated they’ll cost growers yield. He notes that many product solutions are available to address newer insect problems and protect yield – solutions that also provide retailers a new means of generating revenue.

Syngenta’s Long says “those scouting reports and using local thresholds will be critical to make sure we’ve got the timing right, and we’re providing the best control we can.”

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Insecticides Stories
InsecticidesHow To Scout For Corn Earworms In Corn
July 28, 2014
In her weekly report, University of Missouri Agronomy Specialist Jill Scheidt discusses what to look for when scouting for corn earworm. Read More
InsecticidesEPA Grants Besiege Insecticide Additional Approvals
June 18, 2014
EPA has granted additional registration approvals for the use of Syngenta's Besiege insecticide on sorghum, cereal grains and peanuts. Read More
InsecticidesPrevathon Insect Control Approved For Cereal Crops
January 13, 2014
DuPont's Prevathon insect control powered by Rynaxypyr has received U.S. EPA registration for use on cereal crops, including wheat, most other small grains and sorghum. Read More
InsecticidesInsecticides 2014: Insect Pressure, Solutions On The Rise
January 2, 2014
Bt resistance, weather concerns and myriad other issues have led to an increase in both traditional pest pressures as well as new pests. Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100Pinnacle Expands Sanders Brand In The South
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle has acquired Hopkins Seed and Chemical in Qulin, MO, which expands the company's Sanders brand to nine Southern states. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Launches New Providence Agriculture Location In Indiana
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings — ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100 — has established a new retail location in New Castle, IN, which will operate as part of Pinnacle's Providence Agriculture brand. Read More
CropLife 100Cooperative CHS Returns $518 Million To Owners
February 23, 2015
The 2015 cash return to owners is based on CHS net income of $1.1 billion, the company's second highest on record. Read More
corn field
CropLife 100The Andersons’ Humic DG Now Available In Canada
February 13, 2015
The Andersons, Inc. Turf & Specialty Group has announced its Humic DG product is now available to customers in the Canadian turf, agriculture and horticulture markets. Read More
Farmer on tablet
CropLife 100Southern States Co-op: An Inside Look At Our Aerial Imagery Program
February 8, 2015
Now is as good a time as any to explore the basics of what a retail aerial imagery program looks like today. Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Inks Satellite Imagery Agreement
February 3, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Company has reached an agreement with Planet Labs to bring satellite imagery to the AgVerdict software platform. Read More
Latest News
CropLife 100Pinnacle Expands Sanders Brand In The South
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle has acquired Hopkins Seed and Chemical in Qulin, MO, which expands the company's Sanders brand to nine Southern states. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Launches New Providence Agriculture Location I…
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings — ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100 — has established a new retail location in New Castle, IN, which will operate as part of Pinnacle's Providence Agriculture brand. Read More
Management2,4-D Celebrates 70 Years; GROWMARK Uses Super Bowl Ad …
February 27, 2015
Jim Gray, executive director of the 2,4-D Research Task Force, lays out planned activities to mark the chemistry’s 70th anniversary. Read More
HerbicidesUniversity Of Arkansas Flag The Technology Program Adds…
February 27, 2015
Started in 2010, the Flag the Technology program provides a visual reference for applicators to distinguish between fields planted with different herbicide-tolerant trait technologies. Read More
Luckey Farmers, Inc.’s Berkey Farm Center
Industry NewsLuckey Farmers’ Berkey Branch Certified In 4R Nut…
February 26, 2015
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced Luckey Farmers Inc.’s Berkey Farm Center in northwest Ohio has been added to its growing list of nutrient service providers to achieve certified status. Read More
Crop InputsWinField Unveiling NutriVision Technology, Ascend Dry F…
February 24, 2015
New for 2015 are NutriVision Technology, a unique tool for monitoring in-season plant nutrient availability, and Ascend WSG plant growth regulator, a new dry formulation of Ascend plant growth regulator. Read More
FertilizerNew Formulation Of NutriSphere-N Protects High Volume U…
February 24, 2015
Verdesian Life Sciences is launching NutriSphere-N HVTM, a new polymer formulation of the proven NutriSphere-N Nitrogen Fertilizer Manager that protects high-volume applications of UAN. Read More
EquipmentIowa Ag Secretary Northey Names Hagie Water Quality Lea…
February 24, 2015
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has named Hagie Mfg. as a recipient of the Secretary’s Water Quality Initiative (WQI) Leader Award. Read More
FungicidesEvito Fungicide Gives Canadian Wheat Growers New Diseas…
February 24, 2015
EVITO fungicide from Arysta LifeScience North America gives Canadian wheat and barley growers a new option for disease control. Read More
Eric SfiligojThe Commodity Classic Turns 20
February 23, 2015
Two decades in, this annual gathering of all things agriculture has become a must-see event. Read More
CropLife 100Cooperative CHS Returns $518 Million To Owners
February 23, 2015
The 2015 cash return to owners is based on CHS net income of $1.1 billion, the company's second highest on record. Read More
ManagementCropLife Retail Week: On The Road Edition
February 20, 2015
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss their recent trips to the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville and the Read More
Crop InputsLand O’Lakes Acquires FLM+ Assets
February 19, 2015
FLM+ will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Land O'Lakes, Inc., and the company will retain its employee base after closing of the deal, which is scheduled for the second quarter of the year. Read More
Seed/BiotechUnited Suppliers, Stine Seed Form Marketing Alliance
February 19, 2015
The new alliance will greatly expand sales opportunities for Stine Seed with the United Supplier Seed Link Owners. Read More
Crop InputsVilsack To Deliver Commodity Classic Keynote Address
February 19, 2015
The secretary will deliver a keynote address to several thousand farmers and ag allies during the event's General Session, to be held Friday, February 27, in Phoenix, AZ. Read More
Crop InputsSoybean Storage Tips
February 19, 2015
On-farm storage of soybeans requires some special considerations compared to corn. Read More
Monsanto Sign
Crop InputsBioAg Alliance Delivers Promising Field Trial Results
February 19, 2015
In its first full year of field trials, the BioAg Alliance reported that the top 10 microbial strains tested in corn and soybeans showed very promising results. Read More
National Farm Machinery Show overview
EquipmentNational Farm Machinery Show Attendance Up By 16K
February 18, 2015
The 2015 event saw the second highest attendance total of all time as 310,589 attendees that included exhibitors and agribusiness professionals traveled to the Kentucky Exposition Center to participate in the nation’s largest indoor ag trade show. Read More