Sweet Treatments

 

The big news in disease control as we near the end of the first decade of the 21st century is getting an early start with seed treatments. There’s a flurry of activity in this market sector, evidenced by the continuing news of pairing fungicide manufacturers and seed companies to bring new options to growers.

This is just one of the key topics that our in-house disease dude, Rusty Beane, discusses in the final installment of our annual Crop Protection Preview series.

Like Reid W. Acker and Bugsy B. Gohn the past two months, Beane brings almost two decades of crop protection industry coverage to the table. After making calls to several well-respected Extension plant pathologists, he’s got the lowdown on the fungicide market.

Dear Rusty: Are there specific diseases that we should keep an eye on this year? 

Although anticipated outbreak severity may differ, for the most part the Extension experts I talked to just expect their usual pests. In the Midwest, that’d be the common foliar diseases like gray leaf spot, common rust, northern corn leaf blight in corn, Septoria brown spot, frogeye leaf spot, and late-season Cercospora/leaf blight in soybeans. 

The University of Illinois‘ Carl Bradley tells me he wouldn’t be surprised if a little more common rust and southern rust than usual show up in Illinois fields in 2009.

Daren Mueller from Iowa State University says there hasn’t been a lot of widespread foliar diseases on corn lately in his state, including last year. The early rain forced a lot of replanting, yet the season turned out to be drier and cooler than normal, knocking the disease and humidity cycles out of sync. When a disease showed up, there was no high humidity to feed it — bad for diseases, great for yields.

The story’s a little different in the South, which typically has more crop diseases than the northern or central tier of states because of its humidity, rain, and heat. Getti ng the corn crop planted by mid-April helps growers “outrun” diseases like southern rust, says the University of Arkansas‘ Scott Monfort. Other corn diseases include northern corn l eaf blight and gray leaf spot in minimum-till areas.

He adds that fungicides play a big role in southern rust control in fields planted after April 15, but the ever-increasing corn acreage means some fields are planted well into May and more at risk for late outbreaks like last year’s crop. 

Soybean rust, frogeye leaf spot, late-season Cercospera leaf blight, and aerial blight are concerns in Southern soybeans; the latter is a particular concern for rice/soybean rotations. 

Dear Rusty: What’s new this year?

The pair of products listed in the “2009 New Fungicides” chart aren’t brand new, but Proline 480 SC from Bayer CropScience is new to the soybean market since last year’s report, and Orius 3.6F from Makhteshim Agan of North America (MANA) is new to the corn markets.

Proline 480 SC, which was included in my mid-year report in September can be tank-mixed with Stratego.

Orius 3.6F is now approved for use in corn and received a Section 3 for soybeans. It is used as a protective spray or when weather conditions are favorable for development of rust, northern leaf blight, southern leaf blight, northern leaf spot, and gray leaf spot in corn, and soybean rust and powdery mildew in soybeans.

Several soybean rust products have been upgraded from Section 18 to full Section 3 status by EPA. The last two products waiting for Section 3 approval — Punch from DuPont Crop Protection and Topguard from Cheminova Inc. — are expected this year.

However, it’s the new fungicide-based seed treatments that really intrigue me. (Bugsy B. Gohn also discussed several seed treatments containing insecticides in “Readying For War,” January CropLife magazine.)

For example, there’s Acceleron brand seed treatment from Monsanto. The key here is to recognize that the word “brand” signals that this is a whole lineup of products under the Acceleron umbrella. According to the company, the brand will complement the company’s seed and trait strategy.

The Acceleron seed treatment platform will provide proprietary mixes of products created to optimize plant health in soybeans, corn, and cotton. The first seed treatment technology will be introduced on Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans this year.

Janice Person, Monsanto spokesperson, emphasizes that the active ingredients will be crop-specific and may change from one year to another.

Another product is Avicta seed treatment from Syngenta Crop Protection, which received EPA approval last month. This one targets nematodes in corn, where the traditional cotton/soybean pest is becoming a growing problem. It will be available as a pre-applied treatment package with a 0.50 milligram active ingredient rate of products you already know: Cruiser 500 insecticide and Apron XL, Maxim XL, and Dynasty fungicides.

Most of you will have to be patient for another year since it’ll only be available in limited amounts this spring for field trials. Syngenta expects Avicta will be available for the 2010 growing season.

Dear Rusty: Can we relax on soybean rust now? After all, there hasn’t been a major outbreak since it appeared in the U.S. in late 2004.

If — and maybe I should say “when” — an outbreak of soybean rust happens in this country, most experts say it will be devastating. You don’t have to worry about it 24/7, but checking USDA’s soybean rust Web site periodically to keep tabs on the disease is advised. Tom Allen of Mississippi State University, who has the perspective of someone who sees soybean rust in his state every season, says retailers and growers should NOT get complacent about rust, as it has the potential to be an explosive disease. Actually, every plant pathologist I talked to couldn’t stress enough the importance of staying aware of where rust is in relation to your operation and being prepared to work with your growers in preventive and control measures.

Movement of the disease in 2009 will depend on overwintering of the inoculum in the South, prolonged temperatures across the southern U.S. throughout the winter and into the spring, and potential tropical weather systems. A major freeze in January went quite deep into the South, although at presstime, we don’t know how much inoculum has been destroyed.

Bradley of Illinois notes the U.S. is still at the beginning stages of dealing with this pathogen and as research and experience continue, even 10 years from now, our knowledge of soybean rust will be far greater.

Dear Rusty: It looks like preventive/scheduled applications of fungicides are ruling the day. Many of my grower-customers have made it pretty clear that they plan to use Headline on corn and/or soybeans, so BASF is getting their message across. Any comments?

I haven’t seen the acreage numbers or yield results for 2008, although some of the Extension guys tell me they think the acreage has plateaued at this point. BASF had the numbers to back its claims about Headline in 2007, estimating that U.S. corn and soybean growers who used the fungicide that year produced an additional $450 million worth of grain.

At the National Agricultural Aviation Association‘s recent national conference, BASF shared early results from its continued evaluation of Headline fungicide applications as low as 1 gallon per acre (gpa). Company officials reported that this low use rate provided yield and performance that was equal to that gained when using Headline at 2 gpa. Please remember, though, that using Headline at less than 2 gpa water volumes is not registered by EPA. In other words, don’t try this at home, folks.

Bayer CropScience’s Stratego and Syngenta’s Quilt also are being marketed for preventive applications, according to Don Hershman of the University of Kentucky.

Hershman is one of many Extension plant pathologists that still aren’t convinced if these preventive programs are more effective than using the fungicide when disease is present and warrants treatment. He also cites resistance and environmental impact concerns.

Despite his concerns, growers are unmoved. He told me that prior to a wheat producers meeting, his pre-talk survey showed that 60% of those present were planning to make scheduled fungicide applications. After his presentation, the post-survey showed he did not change their minds. The two sides are at an impasse for now, he says.

Dear Rusty: What’s in the pipeline?

Monsanto and Bayer CropScience will pair up Bayer’s Vortex corn fungicide and Monsanto’s eight-trait stacked seed, SmartStax, which is expected to launch in 2010. It will combine Trilex, YieldShield, and Allegiance seed applied fungicides, Gaucho seed-applied insecticide, Celgard, and Pro-Ized Red Colorant into one product.

The Vortex-based seed treatment will provide corn growers with significant improvement in early-season protection against seedling diseases and insects.

Monsanto will have exclusive rights to commercialize the new fungicide seed treatment in its seed product.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Seed/Biotech Stories

Crop InputsMonsanto: EU Approves Roundup Ready 2 Xtend Imports
July 22, 2016
Monsanto Co. announced today that the European Commission has granted import approval for Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans. This milestone Read More
Syngenta headquarters in Basel, Switzerland
Crop InputsSyngenta Announces Alfalfa Seed Split Off
July 22, 2016
On September 1, 2016, Syngenta will transfer sales and distribution of alfalfa seed to the NEXGROW branded business that is Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Crop InputsReport: Bayer Shareholder Proposes Monsanto ‘Hostile Takeover’
July 20, 2016
One of Bayer AG’s top 20 shareholders said Wednesday it may make sense for the life-science company to launch an Read More
Corn Field
Seed/BiotechWhat Can Inoculants Do For You?
July 13, 2016
When it comes to preventing disease and promoting growth in your plants, who couldn’t use a helping hand? By forming Read More
Trending Articles
Heritage Cooperative
Retail FacilitiesKahler Automation Designs State-Of-The-Art Facility For Heritage Cooperative
July 4, 2016
Heritage Cooperative in Marysville, OH, needed an efficient liquid, dry and grain facility to serve the many needs of their Read More
The Andersons Waterloo
ManagementFirst Indiana Facility Certified Under 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program
June 27, 2016
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that The Andersons, Inc.’s Waterloo, IN, facility has been added to its Read More
Food IT
Industry NewsCalifornia Event Will Mix Ag And Tech Professionals To Explore IT Solutions
June 20, 2016
Silicon Valley is hot on agriculture, and an upcoming event in California will bring together the food and tech industries Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Eric SfiligojWhat’s Next For Monsanto?
May 31, 2016
For the folks at Monsanto’s headquarters in St. Louis, MO, it has been an eventful few weeks. Back on May Read More
Soybean Plant closeup
Industry NewsMonsanto Rejects Bayer Bid; Open To More Talks
May 25, 2016
Monsanto Co, the world’s largest seed company, turned down Bayer AG’s $62 billion acquisition bid as “incomplete and financially inadequate” Read More
Eric SfiligojPity The Monsanto Haters
May 23, 2016
An old saying goes thus: “Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.” Given current events, there Read More
Latest News
ManagementGROWMARK Meeting Visit, Company Takeover Updates, and R…
July 22, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss their recent speaking engagement at GROWMARK’s eastern event, crop protection company merger rumors, Read More
Crop InputsMonsanto: EU Approves Roundup Ready 2 Xtend Imports
July 22, 2016
Monsanto Co. announced today that the European Commission has granted import approval for Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans. This milestone Read More
Syngenta headquarters in Basel, Switzerland
Crop InputsSyngenta Announces Alfalfa Seed Split Off
July 22, 2016
On September 1, 2016, Syngenta will transfer sales and distribution of alfalfa seed to the NEXGROW branded business that is Read More
Dow DuPont
Crop InputsDuPont, Dow Shareholders Approve Merger
July 21, 2016
DuPont and The Dow Chemical Company announced that, at their respective special meetings of stockholders held today, stockholders of both Read More
ManagementLand O’Lakes Announces SUSTAIN Business Unit, Oth…
July 20, 2016
Land O’Lakes, Inc. today announced the formal organization of a new business unit, SUSTAIN, and its leadership. SUSTAIN will focus Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Crop InputsReport: Bayer Shareholder Proposes Monsanto ‘Host…
July 20, 2016
One of Bayer AG’s top 20 shareholders said Wednesday it may make sense for the life-science company to launch an Read More
Young Corn Closeup
Industry NewsNew Leaf Symbiotics Snags Former Monsanto Microbials Le…
July 20, 2016
NewLeaf Symbiotics, announced today the appointment of Dr. Janne Kerovuo as Vice President for Research and Discovery.  Dr. Kerovuo comes Read More
Corn and ditch
ManagementStudy: Saturated Buffers Reduce Nitrates From Subsurfac…
July 19, 2016
The Agricultural Drainage Management Coalition (ADMC), Agricultural Drainage Management Systems Task Force and Dr. Dan Jaynes with the National Laboratory Read More
Case sprayer nozzle closeup
EquipmentAgronomists, CCAs, Custom Applicators Invited To FSR Ag…
July 19, 2016
Agronomists, Certified Crop Advisers (CCA) and custom applicators can stay current on agronomy issues on the grounds of the Farm Read More
Soybean Field
LegislationOhio Soybean Association Names Brian Hill Legislator Of…
July 19, 2016
The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) has announced that State Representative Brian Hill (R-Zanesville) has been named one of two Legislators of Read More
Eric SfiligojThe Latest Monsanto Rumors: A Game Of Tones
July 18, 2016
When companies are engaged in the back-and-forth of the acquisition game, the tone of their various announcements is always important. Read More
Nozzle spray close-up
AdjuvantsWest Central Distribution Introduces New Elite Family O…
July 14, 2016
West Central Distribution recently released a new line of Elite adjuvants to work alongside the new herbicide technologies that combat Read More
Bayer sign
Crop InputsBayer Makes New Offer For Monsanto
July 14, 2016
Bayer AG boosted its takeover offer for Monsanto Co. to about $65 billion in a bid to overcome the U.S. Read More
ManagementAn Update on Water
July 14, 2016
CropLife Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Matthew Grassi discuss agricultural water issues in conjunction with a recent field trip in Ohio. Read More
Co-Alliance employee
EmployeesNew Purdue Program To Focus On Talent Management
July 14, 2016
Purdue University’s Center for Food and Agricultural Business is starting a new professional development program to help food and agribusiness Read More
Industry NewsFMC Agricultural Solutions Appoints New Global Regulato…
July 14, 2016
FMC Corp. has named Andy Hedgecock as Global Regulatory Affairs Director for FMC Agricultural Solutions. He joins the company this Read More
Corn Field
Seed/BiotechWhat Can Inoculants Do For You?
July 13, 2016
When it comes to preventing disease and promoting growth in your plants, who couldn’t use a helping hand? By forming Read More
Microbes
Seed/BiotechMighty Farming Microbes: Companies Harness Bacteria To …
July 13, 2016
What if farmers, instead of picking up some agricultural chemicals at their local dealer, picked up a load of agricultural Read More