Pest Control Primer

While herbicides tend to get all the hype, your grower-customers also depend on your delearship’s staff to help protect their corn and soybean crops from insects and diseases and grow their yields. This primer on the latest insecticide and fungicide products will help you get up to speed going into the 2010 growing season.

New Insecticide Tools

What’s new in the corn and soybean insecticide tool box? The latest options retailers can offer growers in 2010 include:

Belay (clothianidin) from Valent U.S.A. Corp. is approved for use as a foliar application in soybeans and cotton. The third-generation neonicotinoid controls a broad spectrum of tough pests including aphids, plant bugs, and stink bugs, and its novel mode of action can be incorporated into resistance management programs.

For example, Dr. Ian MacRae, University of Minnesota Extension entomologist and associate professor, says aphid control is a key concern for soybean growers in the North Central states. “Depending on the population, if a soybean aphid goes untreated, you can see up to a 40% decrease in yield from central to northern Minnesota,” says MacRae. “We saw very good population control with Belay.”

Its highly systemic chemistry provides initial knockdown of the aphids after a few hours, and also quickly translocates through the plant. Trevor Dale, field market development specialist for Valent, says this means growers can consistently expect longer control of 14 days to 21 days.

Belay can be applied in soybeans 45 days after a seed treatment containing a neonicotinoid, such as Valent’s new INOVATE System, to maximize control of both early- and late-season insects in soybeans.

Coragen insect control (chlorantraniliprole) from DuPont Crop Protection offers early, mid-, or late-season applications. Federal registration is anticipated early this year for use on field, seed, and sweet corn.

According to DuPont, Coragen is a breakthrough mode of action insecticide that delivers remarkable protection against costly insect damage from labeled pests. Insects — including key pests such as European corn borer and corn earworm — stop feeding in minutes, helping growers achieve yield potential and quality. It contains the active ingredient Rynaxypyr.

DuPont notes that Coragen’s benefits include exceptional control of all major worm pests, long-lasting protection, shortest re-entry interval, crop protection, rainfast once dried, and minimal impact on beneficials.

Declare (gamma-cyhalothrin) from Cheminova, Inc. is a pyrethroid that is effective against a broad range of insects in crops like corn, cotton, alfalfa, small grains, rice, and others. Along with EPA registration, most state registrations have also been received but some are still pending.

“Declare is not only the most active pyrethroid in the world, but it also has a use rate that is among the lowest of any insecticide available,” says Dr. Jim Barrentine, technical services director for Cheminova. “Declare provides superior performance against insects like aphids, beetles, stink bugs, worms, and other pests in both crop and noncrop situations. Plus, it effectively controls these insects while carrying a ‘Caution’ label.”

Declare is formulated in a state-of-the-art capsule suspension water-based formulation. “This capsule suspension formulation provides both knockdown and residual control, with a use rate that is at least 20% more efficient than its nearest competitor,” Barrentine states.

Declare can be tank-mixed with a wide range of other insecticides for additional protection.

SmartChoice 5G soil insecticide (chlorethoxyfos + bifenthrin) from AMVAC Chemical Corp. is a combination of two active ingredients in a low-cost, high-performance formulation. Designed to enhance yield potential of corn rootworm-tolerant hybrids, SmartChoice is the first new granular soil insecticide for corn launched since 1996.

The combination of an organophosphate, chlorethoxyfos, and a pyrethroid, bifenthrin, provides excellent performance on corn rootworms along with secondary pests such as wireworms, grubs, and seedcorn maggots, according to AMVAC.

SmartChoice 5G will be the lowest-cost corn soil insecticide on the market, the company says.

AMVAC recently released a summary of research from 11 universities and colleges showing that treating corn rootworm hybrids with insecticides boosted yields an average of 9.6 bushels/acre (bu/A) in trials across the Corn Belt in 2007 and 2008. Yield increases were more than 15 bu/A in 28% of the trials.

SmartChoice 5G is packaged in 50-pound containers for application with AMVAC’s patented SmartBox closed handling and application system. The company also expects registration for SmartChoice 5G in the Lock ‘n Load closed handling system prior to the 2010 use season.

Latest Fungicide Options

The new fungicide products retailers can offer their growers in 2010 include:

Headline AMP (pyraclostrobin + metconazole) from BASF Corp. is the first combination fungicide specifically developed for corn growers who want maximum protection from foliar diseases and improved plant health.

Headline AMP is a combination of the same active ingredient in Headline fungicide, pyraclostrobin, with the addition of metconazole, a unique, best-in-class triazole. The result, according to BASF, is a broadspectrum fungicide that improves plant health while providing maximum protection from major diseases that can threaten yield and crop quality. Headline AMP has excellent activity on a large number of foliar corn diseases, including anthracnose, grey leaf spot, Northern corn leaf blight, Southern corn rust, and eyespot.

In replicated trials, Headline AMP provided consistent yield advantages over competitive products, achieving upwards of 8 bu/A more than other fungicides tested, according to BASF.

Quilt Xcel (azoxystrobin + propiconazole) from Syngenta Crop Protection is a systemic fungicide containing the “Power of Two” active ingredients to provide both curative and preventive disease control in corn, soybeans, and a number of other crops. As the next evolution of elite systemic fungicides, Quilt Xcel offers growers a new standard for long-lasting control of challenging diseases and optimized Plant Performance, according to the company.

Quilt Xcel offers long-lasting residual control and broadspectrum disease control, while optimizing the benefits of Plant Performance. Syngenta says these benefits can lead to healthier plants that produce higher yields due to enhanced drought tolerance and better photosynthetic efficiency essential to maximizing yield.

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