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 100The Andersons Acquires South Dakota Plant Nutrient Manufacturer Kay-Flo
May 20, 2015
The Andersons, Inc., ranked No. 22 on the CropLife 100, has purchased Kay Flo Industries of North Sioux City, SD. “This Read More
CropLife 100North Central Farmers Elevator, Wheat Growers Unification Approved By Board, Still Awaits Member Approval
May 13, 2015
The Boards of Directors for North Central Farmers Elevator (NCFE) and Wheat Growers (WG) have voted to approve the Unification Read More
CropLife 100AgGateway’s Barcoding Initiative Progressing Nicely
May 8, 2015
According to legend (or Wikipedia), the first step towards modern bar codes came back in 1948, when Bernard Silver, a Read More
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
Latest News
ManagementA New Sprayer Company & UAV Research In The Spotlig…
May 21, 2015
CropLife’s Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about a Dutch sprayer manufacturer entering the U.S. with a super-sized entry and Read More
HerbicidesFirst U.S. Sale Of Enlist Duo Herbicide Made By Dow Agr…
May 21, 2015
Dow AgroSciences has recorded the first U.S. sale of Enlist Duo herbicide with Colex-D Technology. This marks the first commercial Read More
CropLife 100The Andersons Acquires South Dakota Plant Nutrient Manu…
May 20, 2015
The Andersons, Inc., ranked No. 22 on the CropLife 100, has purchased Kay Flo Industries of North Sioux City, SD. “This Read More
EquipmentNORAC Options Coming To TerraGator
May 19, 2015
Utilizing NORAC’s Standard Control technology, boom height control is now available for TerraGators with Airmax Precision 2 and Benson Booms. This Read More
Crop InputsHelena Introduces New Soil Health Product
May 19, 2015
Helena Chemical Co. is helping agricultural producers maximize yields and efficiency with the introduction of Liquid Chisel, a new product Read More
Stewardship4R Nutrient Management Planning Certification Now Avail…
May 19, 2015
The American Society of Agronomy (ASA) and the International Certified Crop Adviser (ICCA) program announce a new specialty certification in Read More
Environmental Defense Fund logo
Paul SchrimpfEnvironmental Defense Fund: Appreciating Partners
May 19, 2015
I WAS deep in the throes of preparation for the Commodity Classic meeting that took place this past February, trying Read More
WebinarsUpcoming Webinars
May 19, 2015
Register for one of our upcoming Webinars or access our archive of past Webinars to view recordings of presentations that may be of interest to you. Read More
Syngenta Sign
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Responds To Lawyer’s Victory Claim In Vi…
May 18, 2015
A plaintiff’s lawyer has issued a public statement claiming that damages have been awarded in the Agrisure Viptera corn lawsuits Read More
StewardshipCould Australian Water Trading Approach Fit In Californ…
May 18, 2015
Ten years of drought isn’t a good thing. It doesn’t help the bottom line of farmers or the health of Read More
SpreadersDutch Sprayer Manufacturer To Enter U.S. Market
May 18, 2015
Dutch self-propelled sprayer manufacturer Agrifac Machinery has announced intentions to enter the U.S. market with two models of sprayers available Read More
FertilizerTFI Weighs In On Fertilizer Rail Transport Bill
May 14, 2015
With today’s House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure as a backdrop, The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) registered its support for policies Read More
ManagementA Visit To The 2015 Environmental Respect Spirit Award …
May 14, 2015
CropLife’s Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about a recent visit to the CPS Spirit winner in St. Stephen’s Church, Read More
StewardshipBayer Entomologist Issues Statement On Annual Honeybee …
May 13, 2015
Richard (Dick) Rogers, Principal Scientist / Entomologist, Bayer Bee Care Center for Bayer CropScience LP, today issued the following statement Read More
Crop InputsKansas State Researchers Announce Resistant Kochia Brea…
May 13, 2015
Kansas State University researchers say new research helps explain why an invasive weed is developing resistance to a well-known herbicide, Read More
RR2X soybeans surround untreated check (center)
HerbicidesUSDA Study: Glyphosate Application More Prevalent In So…
May 13, 2015
Glyphosate—known by many trade names, including Roundup—has been the most widely used pesticide in the United States since 2001. It Read More
AdjuvantsHelena Chemical Introduces New Drift Control Adjuvant J…
May 13, 2015
Helena Chemical Co. introduces Justified, an innovative drift control agent designed to improve the performance and precision of spray applications Read More
CropLife 100North Central Farmers Elevator, Wheat Growers Unificati…
May 13, 2015
The Boards of Directors for North Central Farmers Elevator (NCFE) and Wheat Growers (WG) have voted to approve the Unification Read More