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.”

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 Agriculture Acquires Minnesota Retailer
April 14, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC, ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100,  has successfully acquired Liebl Ag, LLC in Ada, MN.  Read More
CropLife 100CHS, Aurora Cooperative Complete Fertilizer Storage, Grain Shuttle Loading Facility
April 13, 2015
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading cooperative and ranked No. 5 on the CropLife 100, and Aurora Cooperative (ranked No. 21) Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK Acquires Missouri Refined Fuels Terminal
April 2, 2015
Bloomington, IL-based GROWMARK and Magellan Pipeline Co. have entered into an agreement in which GROWMARK will acquire the refined fuels Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Acquires South Dakota Retailer
April 2, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co.’s Agribusiness Division, a recognized leader in precision agriculture technology and the distribution and marketing of plant protection, seed Read More
CropLife 100The McGregor Co. Closes Smith-Kem Acquisition
April 2, 2015
The McGregor Co. — ranked No. 16 on the CropLife 100 list of largest U.S. ag retailers — has completed Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Commemorates National Ag Day
March 20, 2015
The Illinois agriculture community gathered at BRANDT global headquarters on March 18 to celebrate National Ag Day behind this year's theme Sustaining Future Generations. Read More
Latest News
StewardshipTFI Announces Renewed Financial Commitment To Fertilize…
April 24, 2015
Today, The Fertilizer Institute’s (TFI) President Chris Jahn announced that TFI and over 100 partners will more than double existing Read More
Industry NewsMACA Names New Ambassador Coordinator
April 23, 2015
The Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) has named Michelle Kilper as its new Ambassador Coordinator. Michelle is a graduate of Read More
ManagementAg Retailer’s Role In Local Policy Making; Raising The …
April 23, 2015
CropLife’s Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj review their recent travels, precision ag efforts in Washington, DC, and the role of Read More
TMX-2050 In-Cab Display Launch Run Screen
Precision AgIn-Cab Computing 2015: Connectivity, Compatibility Take…
April 23, 2015
In terms of in-cab computing solutions for the agriculture market, companies like Case IH, Topcon, Trimble, John Deere and Raven Read More
USDA
StewardshipUSDA Outlines Building Blocks For Climate Smart Agricul…
April 23, 2015
Today, the USDA has announced a comprehensive and detailed approach to support farmers, ranchers, and forest land owners in their Read More
Industry NewsArysta LifeScience Welcomes New Territory Sales Manager
April 23, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced the addition of Kaitlyn Acaster to the Canadian sales team. Acaster will fill the Read More
Crop InputsMarrone Bio Innovations Opens New Research Greenhouse
April 23, 2015
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (MBI), a leading provider of bio-based pest management and plant health products for the agriculture, turf Read More
Crop InputsDuPont Acquires Taxon Biosciences
April 23, 2015
DuPont has agreed to acquire Taxon Biosciences, Inc., a leading microbiome discovery company. This acquisition will build on DuPont’s in-house capabilities Read More
Farmer on tablet
ManagementStudy: Consumers Don’t Care If U.S. Farmers Feed …
April 23, 2015
“We’re feeding the world” is a mantra often used by those involved in farming and food to build support for Read More
Industry NewsCorporate Responsibility Magazine Names Monsanto One Of…
April 22, 2015
Corporate Responsibility Magazine (CR Magazine) named Monsanto Co. to its 100 Best Corporate Citizens List for 2015. This is the Read More
FertilizerSpring Nitrogen Management: Form And Timing
April 22, 2015
Most corn producers have planned their spring nitrogen program for 2015, and many have already started to implement their program. Read More
FMC 3Rive 3D
Industry NewsFMC Corp. Completes Acquisition Of Cheminova
April 22, 2015
FMC Corp. has completed the closing of its acquisition of Cheminova A/S, a multinational crop protection company based in Denmark Read More
SoftwareSyngenta Expands AgriEdge Excelsior Nationwide For 2015
April 22, 2015
Growers across the country can now take the guesswork out of improving their farm’s production, land value, farm stewardship and Read More
Cornfield near Sioux City Iowa
HerbicidesU.S. Regulators May Start Testing Food For Glyphosate R…
April 21, 2015
U.S. regulators may start testing food products for residues of the world’s most widely used herbicide, EPA told Reuters’ Carey Read More
FungicidesBRANDT Adds Zonix Biofungicide To Portfolio
April 21, 2015
BRANDT has added Zonix biofungicide to its rapidly expanding line of organic and sustainable products. Zonix is a contact fungicide that Read More
ManagementMissouri Experts: Spring Planting Slow Start Won’…
April 20, 2015
In the first of the agronomy teleconferences with Extension specialists, University of Missouri Extension climatologist Pat Guinan said the slow Read More
Carl Casale of CHS
Industry NewsCooperative CHS Reports Net Income Of $471.5 Million Fo…
April 20, 2015
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, has announced company net income Read More
Industry NewsCHS Insurance Names New Director Of Sales
April 17, 2015
Bryan Lewis has been named director of sales for CHS Insurance, the nation’s largest agribusiness insurance broker and full-service insurance Read More