To bee or not to bee has become less of a question and more of a priority as natural pollinators disappear from the landscape. Enter Operation Pollinator, a new program being launched in the U.S. by Syngenta (www.operationpollinator.com).
Jeff Peters, Syngenta’s technical manager for sustainability, says the goal of the program is to re-
establish foraging and nesting areas to attract pollinators back to the agricultural landscape.
Peters notes that 35% of the world’s crop production depends on pollinating insects. “One in every three bites consumed today is a result of insect pollination,” he says. “Loss of natural habitat is a key factor in the decline of bees and other pollinators.”
Grower cost-share programs are critical for success, and several are established, including
Michigan’s State Acres For Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) program. Syngenta is working with governmental agencies and Extension partners. Watch for demonstration plots to emerge next year.
Fierce Weed Fighter
Challenging spring conditions demand long-lasting resid-ual control. That’s where Fierce comes in.
Although it’s still pending registration, the new pre-emergence product is expected to get the go-ahead in 2011. It adds the active ingredient in Valent’s Valor herbicide (flumioxazin) to new active ingredient pyroxasulfone. Valent is developing the Fierce premix as a low-use-rate pre-emergence herbicide for use in soybeans and no-tillage and reduced-tillage field corn. It can also be used in fall burndown.
Fierce can be applied in the spring up to seven days before planting corn and up to three days after planting soybeans. “Fierce has great activity on waterhemp,” says Dawn Refsell, Valent field market development specialist. “For growers with tough soybean weed issues, it makes a great setup for Roundup Ready beans.”
Refsell says residual control can last as long as eight weeks. In trials, Fierce has shown long-lasting control against Palmer amaranth, waterhemp, marestail and common ragweed. “Adding another mode of action to Valor helps improve control of lambsquarters and annual grasses," she adds.
“Flexibility is the other attribute. “Growers who plan to plant corn, soybean or wheat have no worries if cropping plans change,” Refsell notes.
Weed Control Rebates
Worried about weed resistance, but don’t want to abandon glyphosate? Monsanto Company has a new program for 2011 called Roundup Ready Plus that provides financial incentives for including residual herbicides and weed management practices.
Farmers using the Roundup Ready Plus recommendation are eligible for Residual Rewards rebates of up to $3 per treated acre of soybeans, up to $1.50 per acre of corn and up to $20 per acre of cotton. Eligible residual herbicides and use rates vary by commodity and include several modes of action and products beyond the Monsanto label. However, to qualify for some rebates a Roundup-brand herbicide must also be used as the only glyphosate-containing herbicide on Roundup Ready crops.
Scott Bollman, Monsanto technology development manager for cotton traits, notes that residuals are especially critical in cotton, where Palmer amaranth is problematic. “Once pigweed emerges, we don’t have a lot of options in cotton,” Bollman says.
A separate program has also been developed to provide cost-share assistance to fight volunteer corn. Growers must use Valent’s Select Max Herbicide with Inside Technology to control volunteer corn along with Roundup WeatherMax or Roundup PowerMax. Eligible crops include Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans, Genuity Roundup Ready Flex cotton, Roundup Ready soybeans and Roundup Ready cotton.